Kolkata, April 2: The Mamata Banerjee government on Wednesday banned the entry of Vishva Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia into West Bengal and issued prohibitory orders fearing "communal tension and disruption in public tranquility."
The government issued a notification in this regard under the provision of Section 144 CrPC asking district magistrates to execute it in their respective jurisdictions, state Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee said.
A press note issued by the state home department on Wednesday said the "prohibitory orders under section 144 of the criminal penal code" were promulgated by the respective district magistrates or police commissioners on March 31.
The note signed by Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee said the orders were issued "on the basis of information available with them".
"They apprehend that the entry of Dr. Praveen Bhai Togadia, his holding closed door or public meetings, rallies will lead to communal tension, and this would cause disturbance of the public tranquillity.
"Accordingly, these orders would be strictly enforced and Dr. Praveen Bhai Togadia is prohibited from entry into any district or police commissionerate in West Bengal," the note said.
The Vishva Hindu Parishad leader, known for his controversial speeches, was slated to take part in a programme in North Dinajpur district on April 5.
State secretariat sources said the step was taken keeping in mind the upcoming civic polls in the state.
Togadia hits back at Mamata
Hitting out at West Bengal Chief Minister for banning his entry into state, VHP leader Pravin Togadia wondered whether Mamata Banerjee would arrest preachers belonging to a minority religion on streets and mass prayer attenders at places of worship.
"And why ban entry of one man for rally of 2000 people when the Supreme Court scraps Article 66A for internet, that reaches crores of people? Mamata Didi's decsion would get Hindus and Jain votes for BJP, so wonder who really got Mamata Didi to issue such ridiculous ban and impose section 144 CrPC in all districts," Togadia said.
(With inputs from agencies)