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High Court denies permission for Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rath Yatra

The Calcutta High Court denied the permission for Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rath Yatra. The district collector and superintendent of police have written to the chief secretary and Inspector general of the police department, following which the West Bengal government denied permission for the rally.

The state’s advocate general Kishore Dutta told the court that the Cooch Behar superintendent of police refused permission for the BJP president’s rath yatra from Friday.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah is scheduled to kickstart the party’s ‘Save Democracy Rally’, comprising three ‘rath yatras’, in the state.

The State Government submitted that it might cause communal tension in the district.

Dutta said the district has a history of communal issues and that there was information that some communal provocators and rowdy elements had become active there.

The SP’s refusal letter also noted that several top BJP leaders would come to Cooch behar, as also people from other states, stating that these may affect the communally sensitive district.

Stating that refusal of permission was an administrative decision in view of the ground situation, the AG said that details of apprehension cannot be spelt out in open court due to its sensitive nature and he can submit these to the court in a sealed cover, if directed.

The BJP, which moved the court seeking direction to the state government for giving permission for its three rallies, told the bench of Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty that it will hold peaceful yatras.

Asked by the judge as to who will take responsibility if anything untoward happens, BJP counsel Anindya Mitra submitted that the party will hold a peaceful rally, but that it was the duty of the state government to maintain law and order.

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