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Sandeshkhali: IPS officer claims BJP workers called him Khalistani

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: February 20, 2024 20:37 IST
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A Sikh Indian Police Service officer, who was deputed to prevent senior West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party leader Suvendu Adhikari from visiting restive Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district, on Tuesday slammed saffron party activists for allegedly dubbing him as a 'Khalistani'.

IMAGE: IPS officer Jaspreet Singh speaks to BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and other party MLAs, who were stopped by the police from going to Sandeshkhali, in North 24 Parganas on Tuesday, February 20, 2024. Photograph: ANI on X

BJP MLA Agnimitra Paul, accompanying Adhikari, claimed that the police officer wasn't fulfilling his duties, but dismissed the allegation that BJP supporters called him a 'Khalistani'.

"Just because I am wearing a turban, you people are calling me a Khalistani? Is this what you have learnt? If a police officer wears a turban and performs his duty honestly, he becomes a Khalistani for you? Shame on you," IPS officer Jaspreet Singh was heard saying to the BJP workers.


"I am just doing my job. Did I say anything about your religion; why are you speaking about my religion?" he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asserted the BJP's 'divisive politics has shamelessly overstepped constitutional boundaries', and condemned the 'audacious attempt to undermine the reputation of Sikhs'.

'As per @BJP4India every person wearing a TURBAN is a KHALISTANI. I VEHEMENTLY CONDEMN this audacious attempt to undermine the reputation of our SIKH BROTHERS & SISTERS, revered for their SACRIFICES and UNWAVERING DETERMINATION to our nation,' she posted on X.

'We stand firm in protecting Bengal's social harmony and will take stern lawful measures to prevent any attempts to disrupt it,' the CM said.

The BJP, however, denied the charge and accused the police officer of not performing his duty as per the Constitution.

"No one has abused him or used the word Khalistani'. He is trying to make an issue," Paul said.

Later, members of the Sikh community staged a demonstration outside the BJP's state headquarters at Muralidhar Lane in Kolkata in protest against the alleged 'Khalistani' jibe.

ADG & IGP (South Bengal) Supratim Sarkar claimed that it was a 'deliberate and malicious act' intended to outrage the religious feelings of a community

"Because someone is wearing a turban, you cannot call that person 'Khalistani'. You cannot do that. This is just unacceptable. If needed, we will take legal steps," Sarkar said.

Adhikari, the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, reached Sandeskhali block, after being granted permission by a division bench of the Calcutta High Court to visit the trouble-torn area.

Sandeshkhali has been witnessing protests, after local women accused absconding Trinamool Congress leader Shajahan Sheikh and his supporters of 'sexually assaulting' them under coercion.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.