A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday directed the West Bengal government to deploy central armed forces on the auspicious occasion of Hanuman Jayanti on April 6 to avoid repetition of violence witnessed during Ram Navami processions.
The violence had erupted in three districts on March 30 and continued till April 3 night.
The division bench of Calcutta High Court’s acting Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmoy Bhattacharya directed the state government to identify the sensitive pockets in the state and take the help of the central armed forces there.
At the same time, the division also directed the state police to conduct route marches in those pockets from Wednesday night only for the purpose of area domination. “From the nature of the problems that are being referred to, it is clear that the state police cannot single-handedly manage the affairs,” Justice Sivagnanam observed.
The intelligence wing of the state police also faced criticism from the division bench for not having any prior information about the probable outbreak of violence over Ram Navami processions.
The court also observed that no procession would be allowed in the area where Section 144 has been imposed amid the instances of violence in the recent past.
The division bench also suggested whether procession on occasion of Hanuman Jayanti can be done through areas that are guarded by raising of barricades as is done in case of Ganesh Chaturthi procession in Maharashtra.
On this matter, the state government counsel informed the court that although barricades for all processions in all corners of the state will not be possible, the same will be done in case of sensitive zones.
The state government counsel also informed the court that the police will take action against the organizers of the processions who will flout the restrictions imposed, especially diverting from the prescribed route of the procession. The organisers will also have to inform the police about the estimated gathering in the procession concerned and the organisers will also have to stick to the deadline given for the same.
(This article has been published via a syndicated feed)