The Eastern Command of the Indian Army in Kolkata seems to be in two minds about giving permission to a mega rally on March 29 by senior Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee on land owned by the army in the heart of the city.
The proposed venue for the rally is the base of Sahid Minar in central Kolkata, a land which comes under the jurisdiction of the Indian Army. However, complexities have arised since a joint forum of state government employees is holding a marathon protest demonstration at the same place for around two months now, demanding payment of dearness allowance (DA) arrears at par with their counterparts in the Union government.
The joint forum is holding the protest after getting permission from the court. As per protocol, any political rally on ground owned by the Indian Army can be held provided it gets clearance both from the police as well as from the Eastern Command authorities.
The complexities arose after Trinamool Congress sent a formal application to the Eastern Command seeking permission to hold the rally on March 29. However, party sources said that Eastern Command has given a counter-reply seeking explanation on how the rally can be conducted at the same spot on March 29 when already the joint forum is holding a sit-in demonstration there after getting permission from the court.
Although Kolkata Police officials wanted to mediate in the matter with the joint forum by requesting them to vacate the place for a day on March 29, the attempts failed as the representatives of the forum have flatly turned down the appeal.
"We are holding the rally following permission from the court. Now it is the headache of the police to decide how they can ensure security by giving permission to a political party to hold a rally at the same venue," a joint forum spokesman said.
The Trinamool leadership is mulling to approach the court if it fails to get permission from the Eastern Command authorities.
Trinamool spokesman Kunal Ghosh said that it is unjustified to occupy a particular place for days.
"At least for the sake of courtesy, they could have vacated the place for a day," Ghosh added.
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