Turban incident a one-off case: West Bengal Police

Scuffle with Sikh security personnel led to head gear falling down, says Home Dept.

Describing the scuffle which saw the turban of Sikh man fall down as an isolated case, West Bengal Home Department on Sunday said “One political party is giving communal colour to the incident”.

“One political party is giving communal colour to the subject in narrow partisan interest in a manner that Bengal does not believe in. Policing was done as per law, but highest respect for the Sikh panth and ways from GOWB is affirmed,” the State Home Department tweeted.

Referring to the incident on October 7, when the scuffle happened between Balwinder Singh and West Bengal Police, during the BJP’s march to the State Secretariat the Home Department said the incident is now “being twisted out of context, being distorted, and being given communal colours in fractious and partisan interest.”

“Our Sikh brothers and sisters live here in West Bengal in perfect peace and harmony, in happiness and tranquility, with respect from all of us for their faith and practices,” it added. The West Bengal police had on Friday said that the “Pagri had fallen off automatically in the scuffle that ensued, without any attempt to do so by our officer”.

The police had said Balwinder Singh was carrying a firearm. Videos of a firearm recovered from him during the rally were also aired by local television channels. The 43-year-old worked as security detail for a local BJP leader and was arrested on Thursday after the recovery of the firearm. A number of BJP leaders have raised the issue tweeting visuals of the scuffle on social media accusing the police of using force.

Meanwhile, a delegation Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee met West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar over the issue during the day. “Delegation led by President Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee @mssirsa Manindar Singh Sirsa submitted a representation regarding disgracing @MamataOfficial a Sikh’s Dastar (headgear) that is grave insult to entire Sikh Community and demanded justice for Balwinder Singh.” Governor Dhankhar tweeted.

The Trinamool Congress leadership reacted sharply to the tweet, accusing Mr Dhankar of trying to create a “communal divide” over the incident. State’s Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said that in the “garb of discharging constitutional duties, the Governor is operating as a party functionary”.

“We from the Trinamool Congress condemn the role of the BJP and Governor in this incident,” he said referring to the turban incident.

Meanwhile, a delegation of BJP leaders led by Mukul Roy met the Governor demanding a probe by Central Bureau of Investigation in the murder of BJP leader Manish Shukla.


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