HC allows BJP’s ‘Rath Yatra’ in West Bengal

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KOLKATA, December 20: The Calcutta high court on Thursday allowed the BJP’s ‘Rath Yatra’ programme in West Bengal, setting aside the state government’s refusal on apprehensions of communal unrest.
Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty directed the state BJP to inform the superintendents of police of the districts, in which the rallies shall enter, at least 12 hours ahead of schedule.
The party was also directed to ensure that the ‘yatras’ should be conducted abiding by the law and shall not impede normal movement of vehicular traffic.
The state government had earlier denied permission for the yatras, citing ‘intelligence reports’ about efforts to disrupt communal harmony over the yatra. The BJP had moved court against denial of permission by the state.
Sounding a caution, the court also said that BJP will be equally responsible for any loss or damage to property caused.
State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said that the party will abide by the court’s directives.
The ‘rath yatra’, touted as the “save democracy rally”, is now being proposed for on Saturday, next Monday and Wednesday, said state Bharatiya Janata Party vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar.
“We have already prepared three dates for ‘ganatantra bachao yatra (save democracy rally)’ from Cooch Behar on December 22, from Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas district on December 24 and from Tarapith temple in Birbhum district on December 26 to protest against the Trinamool Congress
government’s decision to deny permission for the rath yatra,” he said.
Asked to react on the BJP’s demand for holding the rally, TMC leader and food supplies minister Jyotipriyo Mullick said, “The state government had done the right thing by not giving them (BJP) the approval. The intention of the BJP is to create communal tensions in the state.” (TNN)