The Bengal government’s Home department — without taking any names — today said “a political party is giving communal colour” to the controversial incident of a Sikh protestor losing his turban in a scuffle with police in Howrah on Thursday.
In a set of three tweets this afternoon, the state Home department said, “One political party is giving communal color to the subject in narrow, partisan interest in a manner that Bengal does not believe in.”
Confirming its “highest respect for the Sikh panth” and pointing out that Sikhs live in Bengal in peace and harmony, the home department said, “A recent incident when one isolated individual got caught with one illegally carried firearm, amid agitationists in an agitation that was not authorized, is now being twisted out of context, being distorted and being given communal colours in fractious and partisan interest.”
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.(3/3)
— HOME DEPARTMENT – GOVT. OF WEST BENGAL (@HomeBengal) October 11, 2020
Balwinder Singh, a 43-year-old former soldier, lost his turban in a scuffle with police while marching towards the Chief Minister’s office during the BJPs protest rally.
While a section on social media accused the police of pulling off Mr Singh’s turban, police shared footage and said there was no attempt to hurt religious sentiments and the turban fell off ‘automatically’ during the scuffle.
The controversy turned volatile on Friday, with the Shiromani Akali Dal and cricketer Harbajan Singh tweeting to demand that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee take action against the policemen involved.
A Sikh delegation led by S Manjinder Singh Sirsa, president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management committee, will meet Governor Jagdeep Dhankar today over the turban row. There are also plans to meet the Balwinder Singh, who has been arrested, at the Howrah police station.
BJP MP Babul Supriyo has said Mamata Banerjee’s government meets all criteria to involve Article 356 (President’s Rule) in the state. “She has made West Bengal a hub of terrorists. Mamata Banerjee’s expiry date has arrived. She will get an answer in the 2021 elections. I haven’t seen such a cruel Chief Minister till date,” his tweet read.