Kolkata Police Denies BJP Permission to Hold Tokyo Olympics Rally, Dilip Ghosh Claims Harassment

West Bengal BJP leaders on Saturday alleged that the police has denied permission to hold the ‘Cheers for India Run’ campaign in Kolkata on August 1 to cheer for the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Olympics.

On July 30, the BJP’s Yuva Morcha sought permission from Kolkata Police to hold ‘Cheers for India Run’ from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Statue to Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s statue near the Maidan area, according to reports.

However, the police refused to grant the party permission to hold the event, citing COVID-19 restrictions.

Speaking to News18, State BJP President Dilip Ghosh, said, “The event was meant to cheer the athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics. It was nothing to do with politics. Just to harass us, the Kolkata police refused to give us permission. It is highly unfortunate and we condemn this.”

When asked regarding their next course of action, he said, “We are obviously going ahead with the event and I will personally be there. It will start at 8 AM tomorrow morning and people mainly from Kolkata will participate in this event.”

Taking a jibe at Kolkata Police, he said, “Let the police do their job. We will do our job. We will run and the police will run after us.”

On July 28, amid concerns of the third wave of Covid-19, the West Bengal government extended Covid-19 restrictions till August 15 across the State.

“After reviewing the current situation of Covid-19 pandemic, the State Executive Committee of West Bengal State Disaster Management Authority recommended further extension of restriction measures as already in force with graded and calibrated approach to relaxations as required,” the latest notification reads.

All political, social, cultural, academic and entertainment-related gatherings, grouping and congregations are prohibited.

The decision to extend the Covid-19 restrictions after the Union Home Ministry pointed out a massive violation of safety measures in some states, mostly in tourists and public places.

Worried over blatant violations of Covid norms, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote letters to the Chief Secretaries of all the states and Union Territory (UT) administrators asking them to regulate crowded places.

It was learned that based on the Centre’s suggestion on containing Covid-19, the state government denied them permission to hold the ‘cheers for India run’ programme.

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