Telangana High Court on Monday permitted state BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar to launch the fifth phase of his padayatra but with the condition that it should not pass through Bhainsa town.
Hearing a petition of the BJP challenging the order of Nirmal district police denying permission for the padyatra, the High Court allowed the padyatra but subject to certain conditions.
It restricted the number of participants in the padyatra to 500. The court directed that the public meeting should be held three kilometres away from Bhainsa town and the participants should not exceed 3,000. It made it clear that the leaders at the public meeting should desist from making provocative speeches.
Following the court order, the saffron party leaders were preparing a revised route map of the march.
Sanjay, who was under house arrest in Karimnagar since Sunday night, welcomed the court order. He told reporters that he will leave for Nirmal district to formally launch the fifth leg of his march.
The BJP leader will offer prayers at a temple in Nirmal town to start his padyatra. He will walk only one kilometre on Monday.
The BJP has also postponed its public meeting to Tuesday after the High Court asked the police to give permission for the public meeting if it is organised three kilometres away from Bhainsa.
The public meeting was originally scheduled at Bhainsa to mark the beginning of padyatra and the party had invited Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
As per the revised schedule, the public meeting will be held on Tuesday with union minister G. Kishan Reddy attending it as the chief minister.
During the hearing, the Advocate General submitted to the court that the permission was denied for padyatra through Bhainsa as there is apprehension of breach of peace. The court was told that Bhainsa is a sensitive town and it had witnessed communal clashes in the recent past.
After hearing arguments from both sides, the High Court gave conditional permission for the walkathon.
The police had stopped Sanjay on way to Bhainsa on Sunday night and sent him back to Karimnagar.
Tension prevailed at Jagtiyal on Sunday night when Sanjay was stopped on the way to Bhainsa in Nirmal district citing lack of permission for padyatra.
The saffron party condemned the police action against Bandi Sanjay. Union minister for tourism and culture G. Kishan Reddy condemned the act of TRS government in denying permission for padyatra.
“Suppression of people’s voice, banning of public meetings and attack on houses of public representatives have become a common trend in Telangana under corrupt & dynastic TRS rule,” tweeted Kishan Reddy.
Adilabad MP Soyam Bapu Rao said the action reflected the autocratic rule in the state.
BJP vice-president D. K. Aruna said the TRS denied permission for the padyatra as it was afraid of defeat in the next Assembly elections.