Calcutta HC Permits BJP Leader Suvendu Adhikari to Stage Dharna Outside Raj Bhavan

Suvendu Adhikari

The Calcutta High Court has granted permission to the Leader of the Opposition, Suvendu Adhikari, and others to stage a sit-in for four hours in front of Raj Bhavan on July 14, 2024.

This decision came after the state government indicated it had no objections to the BJP’s peaceful demonstration on the specified date and time.

A single bench of Justice Amrita Sinha allowed BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari to hold a peaceful demonstration with 300 people on a stage situated at least 10 yards away from the Raj Bhavan gate on July 14. The court also stipulated that no firearms would be permitted, and any hateful comments or disturbances would not be tolerated.

The court’s permission followed statements from Advocate General Kishore Datta, who said the state had no objections to Adhikari and his supporters holding their protest in front of Raj Bhavan from 10 am for four hours on July 14.

“I am grateful to the court for permitting me to sit. This is a moral victory for me. I will sit alongside 300 families who are victims of post-poll violence. When ‘bhaipo (Abhishek Banerjee)’ demonstrates, there is no CrPC, and the law applies only to others. This was an ethical battle for me, and the court has vindicated it,” the BJP leader remarked.

The planned sit-in outside Raj Bhavan, involving alleged victims of post-poll violence, had become contentious between the BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress after the Kolkata Police denied Adhikari permission to protest, citing Section 144 of the CrPC, which was in effect in the area.

Adhikari had approached the court, alleging that the city police had allowed TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee to hold a dharna for five days outside Raj Bhavan in October last year. Abhishek had staged the dharna to protest the Centre’s decision to halt the release of funds to Bengal under rural schemes.

Trinamool spokesperson Santanu Sen argued that Abhishek Banerjee’s protest could not be equated with Adhikari’s demonstration.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte