“Adversarial stance”: Bengal Guv accuses police of manipulating support on Sikh man’s assault

Kolkata, Oct 12 (UNI) West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday expressed concern at the “adversarial” stance of the State Police with all out effort to “garner and manipulate support for inhuman treatment” meted out to Balvinder Singh.

“Concerned at adversarial stance @WBPolice @HomeBengal with all out effort to garner and manipulate support for inhuman treatment meted out #BalvinderSingh” Mr Dhankhar tweeted.

“Time @MamataOfficial for healing touch rather than be in justification mode” he stated.

“Law allows capping of such wrongs,” the Governor noted.

On Sunday, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee sought intervention of West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar and demanded justice into the alleged assault on a

Sikh man by the state policemen during BJP’s protest march to Nabanna, the state secretariat in Howrah.

“As the elected representative of the Sikh community (a minority community), I am writing to express

the anguish and outrage of the community at large after learning about the police brutality and excessive use of force in an incident in Kolkata in an unprovoked assault involving a(n) innocent Sikh and the defilement of his turban (Pagri) a symbol of respect and Kesh (unshorn hair) on 9/10/2020 ( actually (8/10/2020),” a memorandum submitted to the Governor by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management committee president Manjinder Singh Sirsa said.

“( A) Delegation led by President Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee Manjindar Singh Sirsa submitted a representation regarding the disgracing @MamataOfficial a Sikh’s Dastar (headgear) that is grave insult to entire Sikh Community and demanded justice for Balwinder Singh,” a tweet from Raj Bhawan said yesterday.

“As the Governor, I assured the delegation that all steps would be taken for such outrage @MamataOfficial. In no civilised society such blatant abuse of police power @WBPolice in disregard of Supreme Court directives in the case of DK Basu can be countenanced or condoned,” Dhankar added.

Earlier on Sunday, the West Bengal Government asserted that people of all the faiths, including the Sikhs, live in the state in perfect peace and harmony.

The state Home department in a Twitter post said: “Our Sikh brothers and sisters live here in West Bengal in perfect peace and harmony, happiness and tranquility with respect from all of us for their faith and practices. A recent incident when one isolated individual got caught with one illegally carried firearm amidst agitationists in an agitation that was not authorised and now being twisted out of context, beings distorted, and being given communal colour in fractious and partisan interests.”

The statement was issued in reference to a controversy that erupted during BJP’s “Nabanna Cholo” rally at Howrah on Thursday. During the rally, a BJP leader’s private security person, Balbinder Singh, who is a Sikh by faith, was seen jostling with policemen during which his turban came off his head.

Cricketer Harbhajan Singh had also taken an exception to the incident and wrote on his Twitter handle: “Please look into this matter @MamataOfficial this isn’t done.”

In response, the West Bengal Police said, “West Bengal Police respects all religions. The officer specifically asked him to put his Pagri back before the arrest. The attached photo has been clicked right before he was escorted to the Police Station. We remain committed to our duty to uphold law and order in the state.”

In another tweet, the state police said, “The concerned person was carrying firearms in yesterday’s ( Thursday’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 state Home department in another tweet on Sunday said, “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.”



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