BJP rally held without permission; public property damaged: WB govt to HC

19 September 2022

KOLKATA: The West Bengal government on Monday submitted a report before the Calcutta High Court stating that the BJP's march to state secretariat Nabanna last week was held without permission and participants turned violent leading to damage to public properties and injuries to policemen.

In the report, Home Secretary B.P. Gopalika stated that permission for two assemblies in Howrah district - one at Santragachi bus stand and the other at Howrah Maidan on September 13 was denied by the police considering congestion, traffic and security.

Kolkata Police authorities also refused to give permission to hold Nabanna Abhiyan' (March to Nabanna) procession from the city on that day, he said.

The BJP took out three processions from separate points to the state secretariat in protest against the alleged corrupt practices of the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal.

The report was submitted before a division bench comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice R. Bharadwaj on its direction of September 13 over allegations in a petition that BJP supporters were forcibly prevented from attending the rally.

The report by the state said that preventive orders on gatherings under Section 144 of CrPC were already in force in the area.

The report claimed that the leaders and workers of the opposition party did not pay heed to any law and "acted in a violent manner."

It stated that as a result of such violent acts, public properties were damaged in Howrah and Kolkata and some police personnel suffered serious injuries, apart from a police vehicle being torched in central Kolkata.

The report said that 17 people were arrested in connection with the arson and the assault of an assistant commissioner of police in Kolkata. The ACP suffered serious injuries due to the attack, it stated.

Petitioner Sukanta Ghosh, in an affidavit submitted before the court, said that despite an order of the high court on September 13 to the state authorities to ensure the protection of its party office, state authorities had acted in a "very high-handed, wrongful and illegal manner".

He alleged that several BJP members and supporters were arrested and framed in false cases.

The bench directed that the matter will be taken up for hearing again on September 27.

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