CHENNAI: The Madras high court on Thursday ordered Tamil Nadu’s ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government to grant permission to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) to hold its route march at 50 locations with restrictions on October 2.
A bench of justice GK Ilanthiraiyan said the state government must grant the permission on or before September 28 and that a detailed order will be passed later.
The directive came on a batch of petitions from the RSS to permit them to carry out a procession wearing their uniform led by a musical band throughout Tamil Nadu on October 2 and hold public meetings.
At a previous hearing, the high court asked the Tamil Nadu home secretary and the Director General of Police to file their affidavit by Thursday.
“Every year they (RSS) files an application but they (state government) cite some reason and reject it,” said senior counsel, G Rajagopal, one of the advocates who represented the RSS. “So we told the court that we have a right to lawful assembly. We will assemble without arms. And reasonable restrictions can be placed upon us.”
The state government officials earlier told the high court that there was a delay in considering the representation from RSS since it hadn’t given the details of the places where the march was going to be taken.
The court directed the state to obtain the routes from the RSS and impose restrictions necessary to maintain law and order.
“Finally, the court said permission will be granted on conditions imposed by the police,” said another advocate representing the RSS, Rabu Manogar. “The permission should be granted before September 28 for the 50 places.”
He added that the march was being carried out on account of three reasons – Vijayadashami festival (RSS was founded on the day in 1925), BR Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary and 75th year of India’s independence.
“Every year these marches happen from Kashmir to Kanyakumari,” said Manogar, adding that the organisation was given the requisite permission in all states. “Only in Tamil Nadu, we have to come to court for permission.”