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From Amarinder to Harbhajan, Anger Mounts as Sikh Man’s Turban Falls Off During Clash With Bengal Cops

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(Image: Sourced from Twitter)

The West Bengal police, in the meantime, on Friday denied allegations and mentioned that the turban “had fallen off automatically in the scuffle that ensued, without any attempt to do so by our officer.” In two tweets, the police mentioned that 43-year-old Balwinder Singh was requested to “put his turban back” earlier than he was escorted to the police station.

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  • Last Updated: October 10, 2020, 9:36 AM IST
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Payal Mehta

The Mamata Banerjee-government has landed up in a serious controversy as a Sikh man’s turban fell off throughout a slugfest with the West Bengal police following crackdown on the BJP’s “Nabanna Chalo” protests in Howrah. On Friday, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh expressed shock on the “humiliating treatment” and urged his Bengal counterpart to take strict motion towards the cops for hurting the non secular sentiments of the Sikh neighborhood.

Singh’s media advisor Raveen Thukral took to Twitter on Friday evening to condemn the incident. “Not done, says Punjab [email protected]_amarinder, expressing shock at humiliating treatment of a Sikh youth by @WBPolice, who reportedly pulled off his turban during arrest,” he wrote on the micro-blogging web site.

The West Bengal police, in the meantime, on Friday denied allegations and mentioned that the turban “had fallen off automatically in the scuffle that ensued, without any attempt to do so by our officer.” In two tweets, the police mentioned that 43-year-old Balwinder Singh was requested to “put his turban back” earlier than he was escorted to the police station.

Former Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab and Shiromani Akali Dal chief, Sukhbir Badal, referred to as the incident a “vicious attack” by the Bengal police. “Strongly condemn the vicious attack on a Sikh security official Balwinder Singh and disrespect of his turban by West Bengal Police. The dishonour has infuriated Sikhs across the world. I urge Mamata Banerjee to take exemplary action against the erring policemen,” he tweeted.

Earlier, veteran Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh, too, tweeted about the incident. Tagging CM Banerjee in his post, Singh sought attention to the matter.

The police have recovered a 9 mm pistol from Singh and charged him under the Indian Arms Act over invalid gun licence, which was issued in Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir. Singh has also been identified him as a former soldier with Rashtriya Rifles in Rajouri. However, BJP Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh said that Singh was the security of a BJP leader.

“The concerned person was carrying firearms in yesterday’s protest. The Pagri had fallen off automatically in the scuffle that ensued, without any attempt to do so by our officer (visible in the video attached). It is never our intention to hurt the sentiments of any community,” the West Bengal Police tweeted on Friday night.

The BJP’s Bengal unit lashed out at Banerjee’s government and tool out a silent march with posters seeking “justice for Balwinder Singh”

“Security personnel Balwinder Singh was overwhelmed by the West Bengal Police on the street and insulted his turban; he’s a succesful soldier! He has additionally completed a number of army programs! The humiliation of such courageous folks is unhappy in Mamata Raj. Such policemen must be punished! (SIC),” Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP’s Bengal in-charge, tweeted.

Meanwhile, BJP’s Delhi spokesperson Tajinder Pal Bagga in contrast the incident to the 1984 Sikhs riots.





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