Photo: Mint
Photo: Mint

SC rejects BJP’s plea against Calcutta HC order on rathyatra

Last week, a division bench of the Calcutta high court set aside a single bench order that allowed BJP to take out rathyatra

Kolkata: In a major blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the Supreme Court on Monday rejected its appeal to hear its petition against a Calcutta high court order on an ‘urgent’ basis. The matter is related to a rathyatra or chariot rally program that was supposed to be flagged off by the party president Amit Shah.

Last week, a division bench of the Calcutta high court set aside a single bench order that allowed the party to take out these rallies. The division bench had returned the matter to the single bench of Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty, asking the bench to hear the matter afresh considering the inputs from the intelligence report submitted by the state.

The state had submitted that according to the intelligence report there were chances of communal disharmony along the proposed route of the yatra. The rallies were supposed to cover all forty-two assembly constituencies of the state before meeting at Kolkata for a rally to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On Monday, BJP workers clashed with the police at Basirhat in the North 24 Parganas district of the state. The workers were protesting against the state’s decision to not allow the party to take out the rallies. Similar programs were carried out across the state. However, this gathering went violent and started pelting stones at the police, said a senior police official who asked not to be identified.

“The mob was infiltrated by outsiders who created this mayhem," said Dilip Ghosh the president of the party’s local wing. “We had informed the police about our event and they should have made necessary arrangements," he added.

Jyotipriyo Mullick, a minister in the West Bengal cabinet and lawmaker from the Habra constituency in North 24 Parganas said the BJP is a disorganized party which can’t organize peaceful demonstrations. “Those who threw stones at the police were BJP workers," he added.

Police officials said that about 60 men were arrested in the incident.

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