The court has asked the state government to file its response soon and posted the case for next hearing on December 2.

TN BJP President L Murugan holding a vel being welcomed by people in Krishnagiri
news Court Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - 11:44

The Madras High Court on Tuesday wondered how the BJP in Tamil Nadu  was going ahead with the Vel Yatra without even securing permission from the state government. This came after the Director General of Police complained to the court that the party made multiple attempts at the yatra despite denying permission and the pending case.

While the BJP had challenged a Government Order that prevents religious congregations until November 15, the court has asked the state government to file its response soon and posted the case for next hearing on December 2.

The state’s Advocate General (AG) told the two-member bench, comprising justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha, that BJP was not conducting a temple visit but a political rally. According to The Hindu, the AG argued that the TN BJP was not only violating rules but preventing the police from discharging their duties and endangering the safety of others. He noted that several who participated in the rally were not wearing face masks or following social distancing norms which is a threat to the safety of people during the pandemic.

BJP’s state general secretary K Nagarajan sought permission from the Greater Chennai Commissioner of Police for the Yatra on November 2. This was rejected a few days later on November 5. The Yatra was initially set to begin on November 6 and culminate on December 6, the day that marks the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992, after visiting the six abodes of Lord Muruga located in different parts of the state. The Vel Yatra is to expose the DMK’s alleged anti-Hindu agenda, says the BJP as it hopes to consolidate the Hindu votes ahead of the 2021 Assembly Elections. 

BJP’s Vel Yatra was stopped three times over the past four days. On Friday, the party led by state chief L Murugan attempted to launch the yatra from Tiruttani but were detained by the police and taken into preventive custody. On Sunday, Murugan, senior leaders L Ganesan, Annamalai, Karu Nagarajan, KP Radhakrishnan were detained by the Chennai police along with 500 other party members for violating Section 144. On Monday, it was a repeat, this time from Hosur with leaders despite permission being denied for the yatra. 

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