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Calcutta HC denies permission to Amit Shah’s ‘Rath Yatra’, party says will wait for final order


Kolkata, Dec 6: The Calcutta High Court Thursday denied permission to BJP president Amit Shah's proposed 'Rath Yatra' from Cooch Behar district, after the West Bengal government refused to allow the event saying it may cause communal tension.

WB: Calcutta HC denies permission to Amit Shah’s ‘Rath Yatra’ in Cooch Behar tomorrow

The BJP decided to put on hold Shah's proposed rally and the Rath Yatra, saying it will wait for the final order from the high court, which will now hear an appeal by the saffron party on Friday morning.

Single bench judge Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty directed that the rally stands deferred till the next date of hearing on January 9 and observed that the prayer of BJP for permission for it cannot be granted at this stage.

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Appearing for the state, Advocate General Kishore Dutta told the court that the rally will create communal disharmony and submitted to the judge a report in a sealed cover, which he said delineates apprehensions of disturbance to peace and communal disharmony by intelligence agencies. The court directed superintendents of police of all districts in West Bengal to file a report before the court on holding of Rath Yatras, peremptorily by December 21, after hearing all the district presidents of BJP.

Immediately after the order was passed, lawyers for the BJP went to the chamber of Chief Justice Debasish Kargupta and prayed for constitution of a special bench for hearing its appeal on Thursday evening as the normal court hours had ended for the day, party lawyer Phiroze Edulji said.

The Chief Justice refused to constitute a special bench and asked the BJP lawyers to move the appeal before the court on Friday morning at 10.30 am, he said. The saffron party had scheduled three Rath Yatras in West Bengal which are to pass through all 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

The BJP had moved the high court yesterday claiming that the West Bengal administration and the police were not responding to its applications seeking permission to take out three rallies in West Bengal from December 7.

This is not the first time that the BJP had claimed it faced issues when trying to hold a rally in TMC chief's state. In August 2018, the controversy about permission for BJP's rally in West Bengal had erupted, with the party claiming it was denied the permission and the Kolkata police saying it never received an application.

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