‘Will come up with a workable solution for RSS march’: Tamil Nadu govt. tells SC

The State said it would in the meanwhile communicate with the other side inputs it had received about threats and suggest routes for the marches

Published - March 03, 2023 04:05 pm IST - NEW DELHI

File image of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) volunteers taking out a march in Chennai.

File image of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) volunteers taking out a march in Chennai. | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

The Tamil Nadu government in the Supreme Court on March 3 said it will come up with a “workable solution” for the conduct of route marches proposed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) while flagging concerns about security from banned outfits in certain areas, while the organisation said it may not hold the marches on March 5 and the State is duty bound to protect it from danger.

A Bench led by Justice V. Ramasubramanian listed the case on March 17.

The State said it would in the meanwhile communicate with the other side inputs it had received about threats and suggest routes for the marches. “We will work it out,” senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, for Tamil Nadu, said.

He said the State was not pressing for an absolute ban on the marches. It was only highlighting the issue of security to participants in certain sensitive areas like in Coimbatore, which has a presence of the banned Popular Front of India and have witnessed bomb blasts in the past.

“We are not totally opposed to having route marches and public meetings across the State, but it cannot be in every street, every mohalla,” Mr. Rohatgi submitted.

The court was hearing a petition filed by the State challenging the order passed by a Division Bench of the Madras High Court on February 10, which set aside the conditions imposed by the Single Bench for the RSS route marches.

Mr. Rohatgi said the RSS cannot seek a carte blanche in conducting the marches. The High Court had agreed that the situation of security in the State offered a mixed bag. The State cannot shut its eyes to law and order concerns.

The court indicated that a balance should be struck between the language of power and the language of democracy.

Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, for RSS, said the State cannot stop an organisation from holding peaceful marches for apprehensions about a banned outfit.

“We are not going to do anything till March 11 or March 12. The government cannot ban me… If I am being attacked by the terrorist organisation then State has to protect me,” Mr. Jethmalani said.

He said the State cannot abdicate its responsibilities. Marches have been held by Dalit Panthers and the ruling DMK party. The RSS cannot be singled out, Mr. Jethmalani said.

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