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Twin blows for Bengal Govt and police at Calcutta HC

IANS | November 20, 2023 04:54 PM

KOLKATA: The West Bengal Government and the police department, on Monday afternoon, received twin blows at Calcutta High Court and both through the Bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha.

On one hand, the Bench overruled the Kolkata Police’s denial of permission for the BJP’s mega rally at central Kolkata on November 29, which was supposed to be attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

On the other hand, the same Bench on Monday afternoon also ruled that the West Bengal police would have to allow a five-member team of the CPI(M) to reach Doluyakhaki Village at Jaynagar in South 24 Parganas district with relief material.

The relief material was for the families of 16 CPI(M) activists whose houses were set on fire on November 13 in reprisal for the murder of local Trinamool Congress leader Saifuddin Laskar the same morning.

Permitting the BJP to conduct the rally on November 29 at the same venue in central Kolkata, where the ruling Trinamool Congress holds its annual ‘Martyrs’ Day’ rally every year on July 21, the Bench observed that in an independent country, anyone has the freedom to go anywhere.

The Bench also raised questions about the justification of the denial of police permission for the same.

The judge also observed that while the police could impose certain conditions for holding the rally, it could not deny permission without citing any valid reason for the denial.

The rally has been organised to highlight alleged irregularities by the state government in implementing the centrally-sponsored 100-day job scheme under MGNREGA.

Apart from Shah, the party has also invited Union Minister of State for Rural Development Giriraj Singh and State Minister Niranjan Jyoti for the rally.

Meanwhile, while allowing the five-member CPI(M) team to go to Jaynagar for the purpose of relief distribution, Justice Mantha’s Bench also set certain conditions for that.

As per the order, the five- member team would not be able to carry any political placard or shout any political slogan or organise any political rally at the place. A detailed hearing on this matter will be held on Tuesday.

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