Kolkata / Cooch Behar: A division bench of Calcutta High Court has directed Bengal government to sit with state BJP leaders within five days and review the denial of permission for the saffron party’s proposed rath yatras.
The bench headed by justice Biswanath Samaddar has also vacated the injunction on the rath yatras till 9 January that was imposed by justice Tapabrata Chakraborty of the same High Court yesterday.
This on a day when BJP president Amit Shah skipped his party’s public rally in Cooch Behar but told a news conference in New Delhi that the rath yatras will be held in Bengal at any cost. BJP will move the Supreme Court for this if required, he said.
In overruling yesterday’s injunction, justice Samaddar said that the single judge bench did not take into consideration all the aspects before issuing the order. BJP had moved the division bench as soon as justice Chakraborty upheld state government’s denial of permission for BJP rath yatras on law and order grounds.
During the hearing today, BJP counsel Aninda Mitra told that since October four letters were delivered to the state seeking cooperation for the yatras but not a single letter was answered.
On hearing this, justice Samaddar pulled up state advocate general Kishore Datta asking why the state did not act on the matter all these days? He also maintained that a political programme cannot be barred on the basis of mere apprehension of violence. The state cannot treat any group unjustly.
The bench then directed the state chief secretary, home secretary, and director general of police to hold a meeting with state BJP leaders on 12 December and hear out BJP’s plans on the yatras. The state shall have to inform the bench and also the BJP by 14 December as regards the permission for the yatras.
In New Delhi, the BJP president said that Mamata Banerjee has got scared of the BJP’s rise in Bengal and hence, her government is trying to stop the yatras.
“But BJP will not succumb to this under any circumstances, we will move the Supreme Court if needed. I am going to Kolkata tomorrow (Saturday),” he said.
Shah alleged that democracy is being brutalised in Bengal and administrative machinery is being misused for this.
Meanwhile, BJP today held a low-key public meeting at Jhinaidanga ground in Cooch Behar from where Shah was to flag off a rath. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh and national observer Kailash Vijayvargiya addressed the gathering.