The Calcutta High Court on Friday criticised the Trinamool Congress government’s silence in response to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s request for permission to conduct three rallies in the state as “astonishing and astounding”, PTI reported. The court directed three representatives of the BJP to meet the state’s chief secretary, home secretary and the director general of police by December 12.

The bench asked the government to decide on granting them permission to hold the “rath yatra” by December 14.

The BJP had moved the High Court on Wednesday, claiming that the state government and the police had not responded to its applications seeking permission to hold the rallies scheduled to have started on Friday. The party had asked the court to direct the state to ensure that the “rath yatra” goes off smoothly.

The West Bengal government told the High Court on Thursday that it refused permission for the proposed yatra as it could cause communal tension, PTI reported. The Calcutta High Court subsequently denied the party permission to hold a “rath yatra” in West Bengal’s Coochbehar.

Earlier on Friday, the party had moved the High Court against the single bench’s order refusing permission to hold the rally. The court disposed of the appeal and directed the state to hold the meeting by Wednesday.

Earlier on Friday, Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah claimed that the Mamata Banerjee government is suppressing the democratic process and misusing power.

Shah had rejected the Trinamool government’s claim that the BJP’s events would result in communal tension, saying that there had been zero incidents of communal flare-ups when he visited the state 23 times as the party chief. He alleged that the Trinamool and the state police were often behind such communal incidents.