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  Metros   Kolkata  13 Jan 2017  Another TMC-BJP standoff: Cops stall RSS Kolkata rally

Another TMC-BJP standoff: Cops stall RSS Kolkata rally

Published : Jan 13, 2017, 5:45 am IST
Updated : Jan 13, 2017, 6:38 am IST

Also refuses permission to shift venue to Babu Bazar from Brigade Parade Ground.

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat (Photo: PTI)
 RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat (Photo: PTI)

Kolkata: The Kolkata police on Thursday denied permission to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s rally on January 14 where organisation chief Mohan Bhagwat is scheduled to address a public gathering.

The police’s refusal comes a day after the RSS’s Bengal unit moved the Calcutta high court for permission to hold a ‘Hindu Sammelan’ at Brigade Parade Ground on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, prompting the court to order police to “take prompt action in accordance with the law within 24 hours”.

The single-judge bench of justice Joymalya Bagchi had observed that “every citizen or organisation has a fundamental right to hold a peaceful meeting”.

On Thursday, the police wrote to the RSS saying the proposed event at Brigade Parade Ground “is not advisable under any circumstances”, and cited the passage of lakhs of Gangasagar-bound pilgrims who are currently stationed in and around Maidan area.

It also refused permission to the RSS’ alternate venue for the rally, Bhukailash Maidan in Babu Bazar, citing “space crunch” since the turnout is expected to be around 4,000.

“In the interest of general security and public order, you are, therefore, asked not to organise the proposed meeting at either of the proposed venues on January 14 and to defer the same to a subsequent date under intimation to this office well in advance,” read the letter from Kolkata’s joint commissioner of police Supratim Sarkar.

Ruling out the possibility of changing the date, Bidyut Mukherjee, RSS head of South Bengal, said the rally will be held as per schedule. “We are going back to the Calcutta high court on Friday and follow whatever order it gives,” he said.

He said the RSS has already made all necessary preparations for the rally at Brigade ground. “RSS chief’s programme cannot be rescheduled at the last moment,” he asserted.

He recalled how the Mamata Banerjee government had denied permission to BJP president Amit Shah’s rally in 2014, but the party eventually held the rally as per its wish after obtaining approval from the court. “We are optimistic that we will be able to hold Bhagwat ji’s rally as well at the Brigade ground with the court’s permission,” he said.

Tags: rashtriya swayamsevak sangh (rss), mohan bhagwat, makar sankranti
Location: India, West Bengal, Calcutta [Kolkata]