In a fresh development, permission for the Rath Yatra by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been denied by the West Bengal government, citing ‘communal propaganda.’
Late night on Saturday (15 December), the state BJP leadership released a letter by the state government, which conveyed the decision, to the media.
"The areas proposed to be covered by the rath yatra are, because of publicity and propaganda gradually turning into communally sensitive pockets. Intelligence reports also indicate that the public perception is that the religious overtones of the Yatra will be turned into communal propaganda, " claimed the state government’s letter as reported by Deccan Herald.
Furthermore, the letter claimed that in several districts organisations with ‘overtly communal agenda’ such as the Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are set to join the Yatra, which will cause communal violence and significant breach of peace.
The letter cited that other reasons for not allowing the Yatra as being traffic congestion on arterial roads and highway and its coincidence with many festivals which shall, therefore, require major police deployment.
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