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Calcutta HC grants permission for BJP Rath Yatra in West Bengal, orders Mamata govt to maintain law and order

The Calcutta HC stated that threats cannot be imaginary. The TMC government had been denying permission for the yatras on the pretext that they will spark communal tensions.

The Calcutta High Court has on Thursday granted BJP the permission for organising three Rath Yatras in the state. Slamming the West Bengal government for denying the BJP permission, the court directed the government to ensure that there is no breach of law and order in the state.

Hitting out at the Mamata Banerjee government, the court said, “Threat can’t be imaginary. It must be real.” Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty instructed the police to deploy enough personnel so that law and order are not violated in the state.

The court’s approval to the BJP for organising the yatras in West Bengal can be termed as a significant victory for the party, especially after the Mamata Banerjee government used all the resources at their disposal to stall them. The BJP had moved to the court last month after the TMC-led West Bengal government denied them permission to conduct yatras on the ground that they may incite communal disturbances in the state.

Speaking to the media, BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya welcomed the high court’s decision. He also stated that the court order is a slap on the face of tyranny. Vijayvargiya also assured PM Modi and Amit Shah’s presence in the yatras.

Hailing the verdict and taking a dig at opposition parties and political commentators, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley alleged that they wouldn’t have been silent if the NDA/BJP had done what the TMC did.

The BJP had organised protest rallies in the state on Wednesday to register their protest against the state government’s refusal to grant them permission to conduct the yatras.

BJP national president Amit Shah was supposed to commence the three Rath Yatras, termed as Ganatantra Bachao Yatra, from Cooch Behar, Kakdwip and Tarapith respectively. The first yatra was intended to start from Bengal’s Cooch Behar on December 7, 2018, but couldn’t due to the state government’s refusal. Amit Shah had then declared to opt for a legal recourse to organise rallies in the West Bengal in the wake of persistent denial by the Mamata Banerjee government.

The BJP then approached the Calcutta HC to get the approval. The division bench of the High Court had directed state chief secretary, home secretary and the director general of police to hold a meeting with three BJP representatives by December 12 and come to a decision on the rally by December 14. After the meeting, the state government had again denied permission for the yatra on the pretext that it may flare up communal tensions before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

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