Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Purola Mahapanchayat: Petitioner moves HC as SC refuse

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Purola: After the Supreme Court asked the Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) to approach the Uttarakhand High Court with their petition to prevent a proposed ‘mahapanchayat’ on June 15 by right-wing Hindu organisations in Purola of Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district, the petitioner on Wednesday approached the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, who will now hear the case on Thursday.

On the other hand, Purola Sub-Divisional Magistrate Devanand Sharma imposed prohibitory orders in the town banning the assembly of four or more people under Section 144  till June 19.

Love JihadThe posters, which threatened “love jihadis” with dire consequences if they did not vacate their shops. (Express photo)

The right-wing groups, mainly the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal, had given a call to organise a ‘mahapanchayat’ against what they termed as incidents of “love jihad”.

Minority groups and NGOs have complained that event targets members of a particular community and will pave the way for further deterioration of peace in the state.

Communal tension has been brewing in Purola and some other towns of Uttarkashi district after two men, one of them Muslim, allegedly tried to abduct a Hindu girl on May 26.

Appearing for the APCR, Advocate Sharukh Alam submitted before the SC bench of Justices Vikram Nath and Ahnasuddin Amanullah that it is a matter of extreme urgency. Justice Nath said it is an administrative issue and told the petitioner, “You approach the HC”.

Justice Amanullah asked the petitioner why it was distrusting the HC. He said that if there is a mandamus issued by the SC, the HC will take note and pass orders. “You should have some trust in the HC,” the judge said.

As the counsel referred to the statements being made, Justice Amanullah repeated that the petitioner should approach the HC or the district administration. Alam then sought written liberty to do so, but the court was initially reluctant. Later on, it allowed the petitioner’s request to permit it to approach authorities.

“We have approached the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court; he will hear the matter tomorrow. He would have heard it today (Wednesday) but our filing is not complete,” said Alam, adding, “We have written to the chief secretary, the DGP and the district magistrate.”

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