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West Bengal Govt Denies Permission for BJP's 'March to Nabanna' Against 'Worsening' Law and Order in State

File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

To the Morcha's letter seeking permission for four rallies by more than 25,000 youths each for the mega march, the communciation signed by the special secretary to the home department said "This is not permissible in the pandemic situation".

The West Bengal government on Wednesday denied permission to BJP Yuva Morcha's 'March to Nabanna' (the secretariat) a day ahead of the protest programme, citing the Pandemic Act and said that peaceful and democratic rallies within "permissible parameters" of only 100 people will be allowed. The home department in a communication to BJP Yuva Morcha state general secretary Gobinda Ray and Prakash Das said the rally, slated to be held on Thursday, will not be allowed to march up to the secretariat as it will violate Section 144 Cr PC in force there.

To the Morcha's letter seeking permission for four rallies by more than 25,000 youths each for the mega march, the communciation signed by the special secretary to the home department said "This is not permissible in the pandemic situation". "You are probably also aware that Section 144 of Cr PC is in force in and around Nabanna. Therefore, we request you kindly to help us in providing you necessary help for peaceful and democratic rallies, within allowed parameters, within the rules of law and not headed to a destination where Section 144 of Cr PC would be violated," the government's letter said.

"We welcome all peaceful and democratic rallies having specific destinations where Section 144 of Cr PC and other provisions of the rule of law are not violated," it stated. As per the rules laid down by the ministry of home affairs, political congregations have been permitted with a ceiling of 100 people, outside containment zones only.

The letter was sent just hours after the TMC government announced that the state secretariat will be shut for two consecutive days from October 8 for "sanitization purpose". West Bengal BJP Yuva Morcha had announced in September its programme to hold the protest march to the secretariat on October 8 against the alleged worsening law and order situation and the issue of corruption under the TMC government in the state.

The government letter to the Morcha also cited the recent Supreme Court order regarding protest and occupation of sites and public spaces and public ways. It also pointed out the National Disaster Management Act, which has banned gatherings and political rallies by more than 100 people due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reacting to the letter, BJP state president DilipGhosh said these are merely "excuses" to stop BJP and its cadres.

"The Pandemic Act comes into force only when BJP plans to conduct any rally or programme. When TMC conducts rallies and meetings, no rules are applicable. The people of the state are very well aware of the double standards of TMC," Ghosh said. Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee had led a rally in the city on Saturday against the Hathras rape and murder and alleged torture of Dalits by BJP.


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