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Calcutta HC Asks BJP to Submit List of ‘Self Restrictions’ for Its ‘Save Democracy Yatra’

The court has also asked the BJP to produce three tentative dates for the yatra and provide information on ‘self-restriction’ measures planned by the party - in case of any law and order violation during the yatra.​

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:December 18, 2018, 6:01 PM IST
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Calcutta HC Asks BJP to Submit List of ‘Self Restrictions’ for Its ‘Save Democracy Yatra’
File Photo of Calcutta High Court.
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Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday asked BJP to submit a list of 'self-restrictions' in a sealed envelope for ‘Save Democracy Yatra’, a day before the hearing of the matter in the top court, after the West Bengal government denied permission for the same.

The High Court has asked the Advocate-General of the state to submit video recordings of the meeting held between Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, DGP and the BJP leaders at Lal Bazar police headquarters on December 13, while hearing BJP's fresh writ petition over ‘Save Democracy Yatra’.

The court has also asked the BJP to produce three tentative dates for the yatra and provide information on ‘self-restriction’ measures planned by the party - in case of any law and order violation during the yatra.

Both the state government and the BJP were asked to follow the court’s directive and submit it (video recording of the meeting, self-restrictions and three tentative dates) in a sealed envelope by 12 PM on Wednesday.

On Monday, BJP lawyers had submitted a writ petition at the High Court’s Bench of Justice Tapobrata Chakraborty, requesting them to allow the yatra on December 22, 24 and 26. On December 15, fearing major ‘breach of peace and communal violence during and in the aftermath of the yatra’ - the West Bengal government had denied permission for BJP’s proposed yatra under the banner of ‘Save Democracy’.

Excerpts of the letter issued by HK Kusumakar, secretary (Coordination), Home and Hill Affairs Department, reads, “The representative of the BJP stated that they would go ahead with the ‘rath yatra’ or ‘Gonotantra Banchao Yatra (Save Democracy Yatra). They (BJP) plan to hold a total of 158 meetings across West Bengal. The three segments of the ‘Yatra’ would involve some religious sites and would be on the move for at least 34 days. The representatives (of BJP) could not give details of the exact dates and venues of the meetings they propose or clearly state who would address each meeting.”

It further reads, “The areas proposed to be covered by the ‘Yatra’ are because of publicity and propaganda, gradually turning into communal sensitive pockets. Intelligence reports indicate that public perception is that the religious overtones of the ‘Yatra’ will be turned into communal propaganda. Intelligence reports also indicate that in several districts organisations with overtly communal agenda such as the RSS, the Bajrang Dal and the VHP would actively join the ‘Yatra’. We are therefore of the opinion that it is not possible to allow the ‘Yatra’ as proposed by the BJP.”

The matter is now fixed for hearing tomorrow.





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