Tamil Nadu government denied the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) permission to hold route marches on October 2, citing demonstrations in the wake of a central government imposed ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI) and protests by political parties against the RSS route march.
The state government’s order comes even as the Madras High Court granted RSS permission to hold route marches in Tamil Nadu on October 2 and refused to hear petitions challenging it.
A government release said permission has been denied to RSS and other organisations for taking out rallies and organising public meetings on October 2. It said the state government has been taking all-out efforts to maintain law and order across the state, apart from taking precautionary steps.
Aside from denying permission to the RSS, the statement also referred to the denial of permission to others, including political parties affiliated with the ruling DMK alliance-VCK and left parties as well as a few Tamil nationalist organisations that decided to hold events such as human chains in opposition to the RSS procession.
A top government source said there were security concerns to deny permission. “Ban of PFI, some 20 different incidents of violence and hurling petrol bombs in the last two weeks were all matter of concern. While PFI and RSS are two sides of the same coin except for their religious identities, there is also a huge battalion of parties preparing to protest RSS rallies, so we have denied permission for protests for other parties too on October 2. It will lead to serious law and order problems if there are rival groups holding rallies and processions clashing with each other,” he said.
Last Thursday, the single bench of Justice G K Ilanthiraiyan of Madras HC granted permission to the RSS to take out route marches at 51 places throughout Tamil Nadu on October 2 even as the state Public Prosecutor Hasan Mohammed Jinnah expressed fear that rallies might trigger violence as there were places of other religious worship en route the procession.
On Wednesday, a bench of acting Chief Justice T Raja and Justice D Krishnakumar refused to entertain the appeal by Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader and MP Thol Thirumavalan challenging the single judge’s order.
Thirumavalavan’s petition said the order did not consider the antecedents of the RSS and that the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, was assassinated by an RSS cadre, and it was unfair of RSS to hold processions on Gandhi’s birth anniversary.
While RSS sources confirmed that they were served letters informing the government’s decision to deny the permission on Wednesday night, they approached the Madras HC on Thursday claiming that the government decision was contempt of court. The case is likely to be heard on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government also filed a review petition before the single judge bench to review the permission granted. The government petition reportedly details the present law and order situation in the state.