Overruling the Mamata Banerjee government’s refusal to allow a 2,000-motorcycle rally by BJP youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha from Contai to Cooch Behar town from January 11-18, the Calcutta High Court ruled on Wednesday that BJYM could go ahead with its rally provided the two-wheelers moved in an orderly fashion without disturbing regular traffic.
Justice Debangshu Basak further directed that the organisers inform all police stations that have jurisdiction over areas the rally will pass through.
Such information should be provided at least half an hour before the rallyists enter their areas. The court also directed that the rally abide by conditions set by the administrations of the districts it will cover.
The court was hearing a writ petition moved by BJYM member Debojit Sarkar. Holding that the petition was maintainable, it observed that apprehensions about the rally disturbing Ganga Sagar pilgrims — the reason for refusal cited by the state — had no basis. It also held that the rights of political parties to hold rallies could not be denied and administrative policies could not stand in the way of such rallies.
Responding to another petition filed by Hindu Jagran Manch, Justice Basak also overruled the state’s refusal of permission to HJM to hold a function near Basanti bridge of South 24 Parganas between 1.30pm and 4.30pm on January 12.
Earlier, Accusing the state government of vindictive politics, the BJP’s West Bengal unit on Wednesday moved the Calcutta High Court against the denial of permission for one of their proposed bike rallies.
The week-long bike rally ‘Protirodh Sankalp Abhiyan’ by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s youth wing (Yuva Morcha) was to start from East Midnapore district’s coastal town Digha on Thursday, a source close to the BJP told IANS.
It was to travel across the state before reaching Cooch Behar in north Bengal.
“Police initially gave us the permission for the rally but refused it on Tuesday afternoon. This is another sign of the Trinamool Congress and the state government’s vindictive politics against the BJP,” he said.
“Our party leaders have moved the high court against the police administration’s decision,” he added.