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HC denies permission to Bhim Army for rally in Pune

All ears: Bhim Army founder-chief Chandrashekhar Azad interacting with people at Mahatma Phulewada in Pune on Monday.

All ears: Bhim Army founder-chief Chandrashekhar Azad interacting with people at Mahatma Phulewada in Pune on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Jignesh Mistry

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However, court does not stop Chandrashekhar Azad from visiting Bhima-Koregaon

A day ahead of the 201st anniversary of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon, the Bombay High Court on Monday denied permission to the Uttar Pradesh-based Bhim Army to hold a public meeting in Pune on Tuesday.

The court, however, imposed no restriction on Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’ from visiting the village of Bhima-Koregaon, 30 km from Pune city, on January 1, the battle's anniversary.

Security shield

Officials from the Pune police, who were present in the court, submitted that they were not detaining Mr. Azad in Pune, despite a significant security shield outside Sagar Plaza Hotel in the city where he is staying.

Mr. Azad was to address the Bhima-Koregaon Sangharsh Mahasabha in Pune’s SSPMS grounds.

“It is surprising that the court’s refusal to grant permission for our rally rested on technicalities like obtaining ‘clearance’ from the SSPMS ground authorities. The court never mentioned any possible ‘untoward situation’ arising out of Mr. Azad’s presence – as has been hinted to us by authorities since he entered Maharashtra on December 28,” said Datta Pol, Bhim Army’s Pune district president.

Mr. Pol, told The Hindu that Mr. Azad’s planned interaction with Ambedkarite students at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), has also been cancelled.

‘Tension in campus’

Both events, to be held on December 30, had to be cancelled after the SSPMS ground authorities denied permission for a public meeting, and the SPPU authorities refused Mr. Azad permission to interact with students saying his presence “would create tension” in the campus.

The same day, advocate Nitin Satpute moved the High Court seeking “urgent relief” for Bhim Army to hold its proposed public meeting in Pune and demanding action against the State government for allegedly violating Article 19 (freedom of speech and expression) of the Constitution.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 4:34:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/hc-denies-permission-to-bhim-army-for-rally-in-pune/article25873828.ece

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