KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court on Thursday okayed BJP's 'Rath Yatra' in West Bengal. Allowing the party to hold three 'yatras' of BJP in West Bengal, the court directed that the administration should ensure that there is no breach of law and order.
"The administrative authorities denied permission without even making an endeavour that the rally can be allowed by imposing reasonable restrictions," observed the court.
"When the yatras are not for any unlawful purpose, it cannot be completely stopped unless there is any breach of law. The restrictions should be just and reasonable. The threat to public peace and tranquillity should be real instead of imaginary," added the bench.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government had denied permission for the rath yatra on December 15 after much parleys on the grounds that it might lead to communal tension. The government reiterated the same facts on Wednesday and cited intelligence reports expressing apprehensions of breach of communal harmony in the state.
It had further claimed that the programme scale was massive and require a huge deployment of security personnel covering all districts where the yatras would be held spanning 34 days.
Countering the state government's stand, BJP counsel S K Kapoor alleged that the denial of permission was pre-determined and without any basis, adding that "in the worst days of the British period Mahatma Gandhi held the Dandi March and nobody stopped him" but "now the government here says it won't allow a political procession."
Hailing court's verdict, Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Babul Supriyo said, "This verdict is a victory against Mamata's dirty politics."