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Indian police launch operation against gamblers ahead of Durga Puja festival

Indian police in Assam have launched an operation ahead of the Durga Puja festival, to crack down on gamblers in the region.  

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The police have already arrested five people for gambling in a house in the Palashguri village of Kokrajhar on 29 September. 

Local gamblers have been identified as Hafizur Rahman, Asfar Ali, Sahajahan Miya, Abu Telep Sheikh and Insan Ali. 

In a statement, Assam police forces said: “Ahead of the Durga Puja festival, police have been launching operations against gambling and last night [29 September 2022] arrested five persons. 

“Meanwhile, a case has been registered at Gossaigon police station in connection to this. 

“There are so many gambling activities happening in the districts during Durga Puja. Following this, an operation was launched ahead of [the festival] to curb the illegal activities and nab the offenders.” 

The police seized a total of 15,500 ($190.47) and recovered gambling materials from those partaking in gambling activities.  

Speaking to local media, a witness to the arrests said: “A police team of Sapkata Out Post near Gossaigon in the Kokrajhar district launched an operation in Palashguri village and caught five persons while they were gambling inside a house.” 

The Durga Puja festival – also known as Durgotsava or Sharodotsava – is an annual Hindu festival originating in the Indian subcontinent, which reveres the goddess Durga and her victory over Mahishasur.  

The festival is particularly popular in the Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Odisha and Tripura. 

Regional celebrations are commonplace, and gambling activities make up some of the jollifications despite being an illegal practice in India.  

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