Kolkata: In a setback for Mamata Banerjee government the Calcutta High Court on Thursday allowed the BJP to hold “rath yatra” rallies in West Bengal.
The high court imposed conditions for the yatra. It said the procession shouldn’t impede traffic, and that the petitioner (the BJP) would be responsible for any wrongful damage to public property.
It also said district authorities should be be informed at least 12 hours before the yatra begins.
The high court said authorities had passed an order for total exclusion without providing for reasonable restrictions. The threat to public peace should be real and not imaginary or a mere likely possibility, the court said.
A single-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court had declined to give the BJP permission to hold the yatra on December 7. A day later, a division bench asked the West Bengal chief secretary, the home secretary and the state police chief to meet with three BJP representatives and take a call by December 14.
After the parleys, the Trinamool Congress government refused to allow the yatra on December 15.
On Wednesday, the state government told the Calcutta High Court said the yatra wasn’t allowed because there were intelligence reports voicing fears of a breach of communal harmony.
The BJP, on the other hand, said the West Bengal government was trying to forcibly stop it from organising processions.