HC to Bengal Govt: Meet BJP Leaders, Decide on Yatras ‘Communal Scenario’ Cited as Reason for Ban
Calcutta High Court asks Bengal govt to explain by Dec 14 reason for not allowing yatras; police report says Cooch Behar sensitive, has history of communal clashes
Our Political Bureau
Kolkata: Calcutta High Court division bench led by Justice Biswanath Somadder has partly set aside the order of the single bench with regard to the injunction granted against petitioner BJP for conducting rath yatras across West Bengal. Another part of the order has been modified in which the bench directed top officials of state government, including chief secretary and home secretary, to hold meetings with senior BJP leaders and discuss the contour of the yatras.
The court has further asked the government to hold the meeting with senior BJP leaders on Wednesday and inform the court about their decision on Friday.
The court is also said to have observed that half of the programme of the BJP would be over if the injunction till January 9 stays. It has also been mentioned that if a decision of not allowing the yatras is taken on December 14, the government must explain the appropriate and exact reasons before the court. Questions were also raised on the reasons for keeping the letters and reminders coming from the BJP to the government unanswered. For the time being, the court has said that no yatras can be organised till December 12.
On December 12, three senior leaders of BJP will hold meeting with chief secretary, home secretary and DGP on how to hold the rallies.
Reacting to the judgement, BJP president Amit Shah tweeted, “Mamata didi’s attempts to deny the BJP its legitimate right to undertake political campaign in the state to expose TMC’ misgovernance has been thwarted by Court, which has asked Bengal admin to cooperate. Big win for democracy! BJP will soon set out on its Gantantra Bachao Yatra.”
Shah will be in Kolkata on Saturday to hold meeting with his party members on this issue. Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee-led government had refused to give permission to the BJP for holding three rallies in West Bengal from December 7 beginning with a rath yatra in Cooch Behar on the basis of a 15-page report from the state police which raised apprehensions of communal violence.
The report was sent to all divisional and zonal heads of West Bengal police and police administration of respective districts. Besides, a two-page report was submitted to the Calcutta HC, which denied permission to the BJP to hold the yatra before a division bench set aside the order of the single bench, said people aware of the matter.
In the report submitted to the court, the police cited “overall communal sce- nario and happenings around the country” as well as “ill designs of the communal provocateurs in the district”.
It said that the state already had a very delicate and sensitive communal situation and mentioned an “alarming incident of assault and attempted lynching by gorakshak of persons of different community carrying cow meat”.
The BJP had gone to the court after the state government denied permission for the rath yatra and the three rallies. As per the police report, the yatra would have cut through 135 locations, most of them dominated by Muslims or with proximity to mosques. It said the BJP had planned 36 big meetings and 122 short meetings in a month and that the party would get all its top brass including the Prime Minister, home minister, finance minister, party chief and chief ministers of six BJP-ruled states in Bengal.
Mamata didi’s attempts to deny the BJP its legitimate right to undertake political campaign in the state to expose TMC’ misgovernance has been thwarted by Court, which has asked Bengal admin to cooperate. Big win for democracy! BJP will soon set out on its Gantantra Bachao Yatra.