Blast threat mar Durga Puja festival on day one

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Kolkata, Oct 6 (UNI) A letter, threatening to blow up Sealdah station by tomorrow, sent police into a tizzy, as Durga Puja began today drawing lakhs of people on to the streets in celebration of their greatest festival.

Accoding to official sources, a typed letter, sent to the Inspector General of Police of South Bengal and the Superintendent of Police, Nadia district, threatened to blow up Sealdah station by Ashthami, the most auspicious day of the three-day puja.

This tiggered a hectic activity in the Kolkata as well as the state police, beefing up security in the state's most crowded station.

''The letter could be a hoax, but we cannot take any chance.

Efforts are being made to make a foolproof security arrangement in and around Sealdah station and to verify who could have sent the threat letter,'' Additional Director General of Police Dilip Mitra said.

Besides additional police force, sniffer dogs had been pressed and metal detectors were being used in the premises of the station as thousands of people from suburban areas continued to swarm the city.

With lights flooding the city and immaculately decorated pandals beckonging the people to have a glimpse at the innovative images of Goddess Durga, Kolkata, like every year, wore a festive look. The people started pandal hopping since early moring and the crowd kept swelling as the time passed by.

The 'Maha Saptami' started with the bathing of a banana plant in a nearby pond. The plant is treated like a bride, wrapped in a new sari and placed next to the idol of Lord Ganesh, son of Goddess Durga. This plant is called 'Kolabau' (banana plant bride) and is considered the wife of Ganesha.

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