A Calcutta High Court directive of September last year allowed the DMSS, a sex workers' collective in Bengal, to hold its own Durga puja, for the first time, within Sonagachi, located in the northern part of the city.

The maiden festivity in 2013 saw more than 3,000 sex workers pitching in to erect a pandal (a marquee) and idol within the directed eight ft by 12 ft space in front of the NGOs office in Sonagachi.

This time the marginalised community was ardently looking forward to a bigger celebration and preparations were in full swing.

"But the Kolkata police authorities have told us we can't set up a larger marquee (15 ft by 10 ft). The advance payment we had made for the bigger marquee and idol has gone waste. We have changed our order for a smaller idol," a spokesperson of Durbaar said on Monday.

Sex workers from other parts of the city and the state who wanted to have their own installations this year in their own communities were also denied permission, the spokesperson said.

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