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Setback for Mamata Banerjee, Calcutta High Court Upholds Order Allowing BJP Bike Rally in Bengal

The order was passed in the wake of the Bengal government's appeal against the court's Single Bench order which previously awarded conditional permission to the rally after setting aside the state police's refusal to allow it.

Sougata Mukhopadhyay | CNN-News18

Updated:January 12, 2018, 12:53 PM IST
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Setback for Mamata Banerjee, Calcutta High Court Upholds Order Allowing BJP Bike Rally in Bengal
File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Kolkata: The Chief Justice's Division Bench of Calcutta High Court has upheld the court's earlier single Bench order to allow a week-long bikers' rally organised by the BJP'S Yuva Morcha in Bengal.

The higher Bench imposed fresh condition of deploying a special officer to monitor the rally. The court-deployed officers would keep the relevant district judge informed about the status of the rally depending on the district through which it passes and work in tandem with specially appointed judicial magistrate and a DSP rank officer to attend to law and order situation in case such a need arises.

The special officers would be empowered to independently intervene and even stop the rally if there are deviations from its prescheduled route or any violence at the instance of the rallyists.

The order was passed in the wake of the Bengal government's appeal against the court's Single Bench order which previously awarded conditional permission to the rally after setting aside the state police's refusal to allow it.

On Wednesday, a single judge Bench of the Calcutta High Court allowed the BJP's Yuva Morcha to take out an eight-day two-wheeler rally in the state.

The rally was scheduled to start from the Digha sea coast in East Midnapore district of Bengal this morning and travel to Cooch Behar in North Bengal on 18 January covering several districts en route.

Earlier in the day, the BJP alleged that attempts were made by the Midnapore district police to stop the rally from flagging off on grounds that the court order has been challenged before a higher Bench and permission to move or otherwise would be granted only after the court order comes through.

The party also alleged that the police vandalised the stage from where the rally was supposed to be flagged off and even threatened its supporters to vacate hotel rooms where they had been put up.

The state police had denied permission for the rally stating administrative inconvenience in the wake of the Gangasagar Mela which brings lakhs of pilgrims from across the country and which coincided with the rally dates.

The state vehemently opposed the grant of permission to the rally on grounds that it lacked the additional police force required to tackle law and order situations which may freshly arise on account of this programme since a large chunk of its forces would remain deployed at Gangasagar.
| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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