Jail inmates perform Chhath puja in Bihar

At least 41 inmates in high-security Beur Jail here on Tuesday performed Chhath puja where they paid obeisance to the Sun God. PTI

At least 41 inmates in high-security Beur Jail here on Tuesday performed Chhath puja where they paid obeisance to the Sun God. 

One of the most revered festivals, Chhath is a two-day fest celebrated throughout the state. There is a general belief that the Sun God often fulfills the wishes of those devotees who offer arghya (obeisance) twice: once during the sunset, and then again, the early next morning just when the Sun rises.

Of these 41 prisoners, who performed the rituals, 26 were woman inmates. Beur jail sources said these convicts, including the 15 male inmates, were allowed to do Chhath puja on the jail premises so that “they could achieve salvation for the crime they had committed.”

In a departure from the past arrangement where the prison department officials would provide all possible help to such inmates in performing the rituals including new clothes, fruits and other essential items, an NGO was roped in to do the needful.

The puja material, fruits, Ganga-jal, etc, were provided by the Maa Vaishno Devi Sewa Samiti, an NGO, which looks after the welfare of the prisoners and in some cases also takes care of their rehabilitation.

“We have given these prisoners traditional attire (for performing Chhath), fruits, incense sticks and other puja-related materials,” said secretary of the Samiti, Mukesh Hissaria.

“Most of the prisoners, including those serving life sentence, prayed for relief. Others sought salvation and forgiveness from Sun God,” said Superintendent of Beur Jail, Rupak Kumar.

Elsewhere in Bihar, Chhath was celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety. This included Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s residence in the state capital where his relatives performed Chhath puja.   

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Jail inmates perform Chhath puja in Bihar

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