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Calcutta HC allows VHP to take out Ram Navami procession in Howrah

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Kolkata, April 15 (IANS) The Calcutta High Court on Monday granted permission to the Visva Hindu Parishad (VHP) to take out a procession in Howrah district on the occasion of Ram Navami on April 17.

The VHP had approached the high court seeking permission for the procession after the same was denied by the police.

After giving its nod for the Ram Navami procession, the single-judge bench of Justice Jay Sengupta also observed that in case the state police cannot take responsibility for a peaceful procession, the same can be taken out under the watch of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).

“The administration cannot interfere in someone's liberty to perform religious rituals. If the police cannot take responsibility for a procession of just 200 people, the CAPF can take that responsibility,” Justice Sengupta observed.

The state government's counsel argued that last year, around 12,000 people took part in a similar procession on Ram Navami which led to a serious law and order problem.

“Even the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is conducting a probe into the incident. That is why the police denied permission for the procession," the state government counsel said.

However, Justice Sengupta refused to entertain the argument, citing that the organisers have clearly stated in the application that this year, the procession will consist of 200 individuals.



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