The Calcutta High Court on Thursday denied permission to BJP president Amit Shah's proposed 'rath yatra' from Cooch Behar district in the state. The BJP, though, has decided to contest the ruling.
The Calcutta High Court's Division Bench is likely to hear the BJP's Rath Yatra challenge petition at 10.30 am tomorrow.
The High Court order comes after the West Bengal government told the court that it refused to give permission for the proposed ‘rath yatra’ on grounds that it might cause “communal tension”.
The state government further told the court that 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 Superintendent of Police'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.
Invitations were sent to all the Chief Ministers of the BJP ruled states and union ministers including Yogi Adityanath, Biplab Deb, Nirmala Sitharaman, Raman Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Sarbananda Sonowal, Arun Jaitley.
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.
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.
The event was to be be conducted by the party’s Bengal unit under the banner of ‘Save Democracy Rally’. The high-profile rath yatra was being touted as the saffron party’s strong attempts to make inroads in the state.
The BJP campaign was scheduled to begin from Cooch Behar district in the north on December 7, from Kakdwip in the South 24 Parganas district on December 9, and from the Tarapith temple in Birbhum district on December 14.