Union Minister Giriraj Singh on Sunday questioned the Bihar government’s order to immerse Durga idols by September 30, saying Hindus cannot be pressurised to change rituals in the name of administrative measures.

The district administration in Patna has directed all Durga Puja committees to immerse the idols on Vijaya Dashami, a day before the 10th day of Muharram on October 1, over security reasons.

Giriraj Singh, the Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, said: “Kya Bihar ka Hindu dashwi manane Pakistan ya Bangladesh jayega?” (Should the Hindus in Bihar go to Pakistan or Bangladesh to celebrate Vijaya Dashami?)

However, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi hailed the Patna administration’s order.

“It is a law and order issue rightly taken by the district administration. I appeal to all Hindus and Muslims to celeberate their festivals and maintain communal harmony,” he said.

Janata Dal-United spokesman Arvind Nishad said: “The administration has taken the right move… It is part of security and law and order.”

Patna District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Agarwal made the order on Saturday.

“It is purely a precautionary measure to avoid possible clashes between Durga idol immersion and Muharram processions.”