Police on Thursday denied permission to the RSS to hold a rally at Brigade Parade Ground here on January 14. The RSS said they would approach the Calcutta High Court against the decision. On Wednesday, the High Court gave Kolkata Police 24 hours to decide on the RSS’s request for permission for the rally, which was expected to be attended by the outfit’s chief Mohan Bhagwat. A day later, permission was officially denied. They have been asked to fix an alternative date for the rally.
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The RSS is not willing to budge. Makar Sankranti is on January 14, and a drill by swayamsevaks in traditional attire has been planned for the rally.
RSS Bengal chief Bidyut Mukherjee said, “We have been functioning in Kolkata since 1939 but never have we faced such a hostile administration. We first asked for Bhukailash Maidan (Kidderpore). The police didn’t allow it. Then we sought permission for Brigade Parade Ground, which too wasn’t granted.”
“While refusing permission at Bhukailash maidan, they (police) said it would be too small for the crowd and could lead to law and order problems. For the Brigade ground, the police said the ground is too big,” said Jishnu Basu, RSS secretary, south Bengal.
A senior government official said, “The situation is being closely monitored by the government and CM Mamata Banerjee. There is a belief that RSS will utilise the opportunity to further stoke communal tension in the state.”