CHENNAI: Perhaps for the first time in Tamil Nadu, the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) has planned to take out route marches in seven cities, including Chennai and Coimbatore, on November 9 to mark its foundation day.
Facing denial of police permission in Coimbatore and other regions, RSS functionaries filed seven separate writ petitions in the Madras high court for permission to hold processions and to overrule police objections.
Noting that such processions are being taken out in all states including Jammu and Kashmir, the petition said it was unfortunate that the RSS alone was being denied permission, whereas other political and social organisations were being allowed to hold similar rallies and functions.
Justice V Ramasubramanian, before whom the petitions came up for hearing on Monday, issued notices to the respective police and district authorities, said additional government pleader P Sanjay Gandhi.
During arguments, senior advocate and additional solicitor-general of India P Rajagopalan suggested that the court use the opportunity to lay down guidelines for officials as well as organisers of such programmes to follow.
RSS plans to have processions at Chennai, Coimbatore, Tuticorin, Tiruvavur, Tenkasi, Karur and Thackalai.
The petitioners slammed rejection of their permission applications to hold the procession, and said it reeked of discrimination. “The procession is permitted by state governments all over India, including Jammu and Kashmir. It is unfortunate that only in our state, permission is not being given to conduct the procession” the petitioners said.
Relying on various court orders that while police had power to regulate processions, they did not have power to forbid or ban processions, the petitions said, “The power to control does not include the power to forbid.”