21/02/2020 1:21 PM IST | Updated 21/02/2020 1:23 PM IST

Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad Permitted To Hold Rally In Front Of RSS Premises In Nagpur

The local police had denied permission for Chandrashekhar Azad's rally in front of RSS's Smruti Mandir in Reshimbag, citing law and order issues.

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Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad speak to media during a press conference at the Press Club of India, on February 12, 2020 in New Delhi.

NAGPUR, Maharashtra — The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Friday granted permission for a rally of Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad in front of RSS’s Smruti Mandir in Reshimbagh area of the city to be held on Saturday.

The Bhim Army had earlier secured permission from CP & Berar Education Society, which owns the Reshimbagh ground, after making the stipulated payment but had been denied permission from the local Kotwali police station, under whose jurisdiction this ground comes. Police has claimed Azad’s rally could lead to law and order issues.

One of the objections put forward by the police was the Bhim Army’s anti-RSS stance which, they said, could create law and order problems if the rally was allowed at this location.

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The Bhim Army’s Nagpur unit had moved to the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court against the Kotwali police station.

The Reshimbagh ground is situated right next to the RSS’s Smruti Mandir, which is the administrative headquarter of the RSS and is situated just a kilometre away from its headquarters in Mahal. When in Nagpur, the top officer bearers of the RSS including its chief Mohan Bhagwat and general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi are put up at the Smruti Mandir.

All major RSS events in Nagpur including the RSS chief’ Vijayadashmi speech, which is considered the most important speech in the Sangh Parivar, take place on this ground every year. 

While granting permission for the Bhim Army’s event, a division bench of  Justice Sunil Shukre and Madhav Jamdar set the condition that the event shall not be converted into a public demonstration or public protest and shall not be used for any political purpose.

“No inflammatory speeches and no such speeches that would tend to or incite violence or spread hatred amongst citizens or communal ill feelings or which would lower down the dignity and reputation of the citizens and nation or prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India or public order shall be given by anybody taking part in the meeting,” the court observed in its ruling.

On Thursday, the court had reserved the order but both the judges had come down heavily on the police for  “for not relying on any specific inputs” while denying permission for the Bhim Army’s event.

“Mere difference of ideology of any organisation located close by can not be a reason for denial of permission for a rally. Suppression can prove to be adverse and such protests, on the other hand, provide a safety valve,” the Bench had observed

“Not giving permission would mean curtailing fundamental rights and that would not serve the cause of democracy,” the court had said.

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