Calcutta HC says no to Amit Shah's Bengal 'Rath yatra'
Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Thursday denied permission to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to hold their Rath yatra programme that was scheduled to be flagged off by the party's national president Amit Shah in Cooch Behar on Friday. The order came soon after the state government informed the court that it has not granted permission to the proposed event as it could cause "communal tension".
The single Bench of Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty ordered that the Rath yatra cannot take place till January 9. It observed that reports should be called from all Superintendents of Police in the state as the rally will touch upon all 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal. The matter will be heard again on January 9.
"The court felt that the BJP brought the matter before the court's notice quite late on December 3 and during this short period it will be difficult for the state government to take adequate measures for maintaining the law and order. It is a big rally and will cover as many as 42 constituencies. Hence, the court has advised all district BJP presidents to sit with respective SPs and come up with a proper and detailed plan," said advocate Arka Kumar Nag, who appeared for the state government.
As per directions of the single Bench, the Superintendents of Police of respective districts will speak to the district presidents of BJP and file a report by December 21.
"The court has also taken into account the police report as well as that of the intelligence branch before passing its order," Nag added.
The BJP is moving the division Bench on Friday morning challenging the order of the single Bench.
"We will be going to the division Bench tomorrow (Friday) morning. We are ready with our preparations for the rally," BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.
Senior party leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said if needed the party will move the Supreme Court. "We are yet to see the operative part of the court order. If needed, then we will move the Supreme Court," he said.
As per schedule, the first rally was scheduled on Friday, the second rally at Sagar Islands on December 9 and the third at Tarapith in Birbhum on December 14.