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Non secular processions ought to promote positivity and never communal disturbance- Madras HC

The Madras High Court allowed the petition which sought for participation of general public in a ritual named Girivalam, where procession is carried around a temple.

The petitioner wanted to general public also to take part in the procession which would be carried around a temple situated in Dindigul District.

The bench observed that as long as religious processions don’t intend cause communal disturbance and continue to spread positivity and brotherhood, the law enforcement agencies should grant the permission.

The petitioner contended that the District Collector of the Dindigul (respondent 1) prohibited gathering of more than five persons outside the temple.

The petitioner submitted that he had been carrying out this procession for past 20 years and on unreasonable grounds, he was being restricted.

The respondent, Inspector of Police, submitted that the members of various Hindu organizations would also be a part of procession and that they would be carrying placards and mike sets, and would also be chanting slogans, which was being objected by the people belonging to Islam religion.

According to people belonging to Islam religion, Rock Fort is their religious site where they carry on their religious activities like Namaz and Prayers, at the same time when Hindus were planning to light lamps.

Respondents contended that in order to control such a situation, where Hindu and Islam are practicing religion on same site, they would have to deploy 600 police officers.

The bench rejected the contentions placed by the respondents and stated that each individual has right to conduct religious activities, keeping in mind unity, diversity and communal harmony.

The bench also mentioned that it had granted permission for this ritual via its impugned order dated 28.12.2020 and should be complied with.

However, the bench also stated that Covid-19 protocol should be followed and provocative slogans or gestures should not be carried on.

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