The Calcutta High Court today allowed the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) to hold a motorbike rally in the state, rejecting an appeal of the West Bengal government that pleaded for its postponement citing lack of security arrangements. The BJYM, the youth wing of the BJP, has embarked on an eight-day rally today from Contai in the southern end of the state.
The rally is scheduled to culminate at Coochbehar in the north on January 18. The state government today moved the appeal against a single judge's order that had yesterday allowed the rally and claimed that adequate security arrangements for the BJYM programme was not possible as a large number of police personnel have been deployed for the Gangasagar Mela. Dismissing the appeal, a division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice J Bhattacharya and Justice Arijit Banerjee appointed a special officer to monitor the rally and said that any violation of law and order or deviation from route may lead to its cancellation. The court directed the police to provide adequate assistance to the special officer. The bench also asked that the judges of every district, through which the rally would pass, to accompany it when it goes through its territorial jurisdiction. The police authorities will have to depute a responsible officer not below the rank of additional commissioner or superintendent of police to accompany the rally, the court said. The bench also said that a detailed route map will have to be provided by the organisers to the special officer and police at least one day in advance. Appearing for the state, Advocate General Kishore Datta proposed that the rally be held after January 26. He said that around 20,000 bikes will be taking part, according to the estimate given by the organisers, and making security arrangements would be a problem for them since police personnel from all districts have been deployed for the Gangasagar Mela, where lakhs of pilgrims have congregated from all over the country. Saptangshu Mitra, the counsel for the BJYM, submitted that the rally has already commenced and all necessary arrangements have been made for it and postponing the programme was not a possibility anymore. He also said there would not be any public meeting enroute and that the rally would mostly be travelling through national highways.
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