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RSS route march

TN Police denies permission for October 2 RSS route march

Print edition : Nov 10, 2022 T+T-

TN Police denies permission for October 2 RSS route march

An RSS march in Bhubaneswar on June 2, 2022.

An RSS march in Bhubaneswar on June 2, 2022. | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT

Authorities cite grave implications to public order by march and counter-mobilisation.

Despite a Madras High Court order directing the Tamil Nadu Police to permit an RSS route march in 50 locations across the State on October 2, the State Police has denied permission, taking into consideration the grave implications to public order by such marches and counter-mobilisation.

The State government also cited the situation created by the ban on Popular Front of India, stating that it was not in a position to allow a route march when the police were forced to work round-the-clock to prevent untoward incidents.

Alliance partners of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) such as the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had decided to hold human chain events across the State to protest the RSS’ divisive and communal agenda. But the police denied permission for this too.

Conditions for march

On September 22, Justice G.K. Ilanthiraiyan heard submissions from RSS district office-bearers seeking permission to conduct a route march wearing their uniform. He later disposed of the petitions, saying that he would direct the police to grant permission. The very next day, he allowed the RSS plea but placed a few conditions for the route march. (In his order, he noted that the Puducherry Police had given permission, without mentioning that the BJP runs the administration there.)

The main conditions were: “During the programme, nobody shall either sing songs or speak ill on any individuals, any caste, religion etc., and those who participate in the programme shall not talk or express anything in favour of organisations banned by the Government of India. They should also not indulge in any act disturbing the sovereignty and integrity of our country; the programme should be conducted without causing any hindrance to public or traffic; and the participants shall not bring any stick, lathi or weapon that may cause injury to anyone.”

On September 26, VCK leader and Member of Parliament Thol. Thirumavalavan, objecting to the planned march on Gandhi Jayanthi, approached the Madras High Court to rescind its order. In his arguments, he pointed out that in the early 1940s, the RSS had prohibited its volunteers from participating in the Quit India movement, and claimed that it had thereby betrayed the country. He claimed that the RSS’ agenda was to create communal disturbance.

On September 27, senior advocate N.G.R. Prasad, appearing before Justice Ilanthiraiyan, requested that Thirumavalavan’s petition against the route march be heard. The judge said that it would be taken up as a matter of routine.

On September 28, after a local police station in Tiruvallur district, adjoining to Chennai district, denied permission for the RSS march, a contempt notice was served on the Tamil Nadu Home Secretary, the Director General of Police, the Tiruvallur Superintendent of Police, and the Inspector who denied permission. The notice said that if the authorities did not grant permission, they would be hauled up for contempt.

Police officials in most other districts also passed similar orders, taking into consideration the larger public good. The ball is now back in the Madras High Court.