KOLKATA: Rebuking the West Bengal government, the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday said that the state can’t deny permission to the BJP to hold the rath yatra solely on the basis of intelligence reports.
The reports had warned of communal unrest as a result of the political programme.
Hearing Bengal BJP’s petition seeking permission to hold the rath yatra programme, Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty said that if a political rally is denied permission on the basis of intelligence reports, then no political rally can be given approval as there are intelligence reports for every political programme.
State Advocate General Kishore Dutta said that the posters of the rath yatra indicated that the programme is religious in nature and has a communal agenda. Dismissing the clarification, Justice Chakraborty noted that security concerns cannot be raised only on the basis of posters.
Responding to the remark, the AG submitted district-wise reports on the security concerns by district magistrates, superintendents of police (SPs) and intelligence agencies. The AG also provided the video recording of the meeting between the state government and the BJP last week.
BJP lawyer Anand Grover said that the district SPs have raised objections to the rallies at specific sensitive locations to which Justice Chakraborty said that the rally can be stopped or diverted from sensitive locations on which specific security concerns have been raised.
The court is expected to give its verdict on the case on Thursday.
The BJP went back to the court on Monday after the state government denied permission to the rath yatra on Saturday after a failed meeting between BJP and state government representatives at the state police headquarters in Lalbazar last week.