The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday issued notices to authorities in Panchkula district, the Haryana government and Kalka MLA Latika Sharma on a petition seeking to restrain some groups including the Bajrang Dal from organising Ramleela celebrations in the Rabindranath Tagore Park at Kalka’s Gandhi Chowk.
A local group based in Kalka, through its president Ravinder Kumar Bansal on Tuesday moved High Court seeking prohibition on holding Ramleela, Janmashtami and other public functions in the park. He also registered a criminal case against Yuva Shiv Shakti Seva Dal Khatik Samaj, Bajrang Dal Kalka, Bajrang Bali Ramleela Natak Club and local MLA Latika Sharma for “destroying the environment of the public park” by organising Janmashtmi and Ramleela there.
The case was adjourned for Wednesday by the division bench of Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal and Justice Amit Rawal. Besides the private respondents and the local MLA, Urban Development and local bodies department, Deputy Commissioner Panchkula, Executive Officer of the Panchkula Muncipal Corporation, Sub Divisional Magistrate Kalka and DCP Kalka have also been made party to the litigation by the petitioner society.
The petitioner society through their counsel SK Hooda in the plea alleged that the groups organised Janmashtami celebrations on August 14 at the park which attracted a large gathering resulting in damage of the park’s infrastructure. “Ransacking of the well developed park is supported and backed by the administration and political big wigs of the area,” it alleged.
“The government authorities are not taking any step to restrain them from organising Ramleela celebrations in the park. The past experience of the petitioner society in regard to the action of the government respondent authorities in protecting park from public function has been very bitter,” the society further said in the petition.
It has been alleged in the petition that the local MLA by her participation in such programmes is “equally responsible for causing incorrigible damage to the environment in uprooting and destroying the newly planted saplings and trees” at the park. “Hence a criminal case may be registered against the organisers and the MLA who has granted oral permissible to them and has been instrumental herself for causing damage to the environment,” the society has said in the petition.
The petitioner has said “many avenues are available in Kalka where such public function can be organised smoothly”, but the groups “are adamant to destroy the infrastructure and beauty of the park”. “The petitioner society had planted many saplings of carnation plants in the park which emanates a sweet smell to attract the children and ladies to come to the park. But now all the carnation saplings have been completely destroyed by the unruly public gathering,” the petition reads.