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Suvendu Adhikari Called Sikh Cop 'Khalistani'? BJP-TMC's New Flashpoint

Latest flashpoint between TMC and BJP in Bengal is a visit latter's Suvendu Adhikari to trouble-torn Sandeshkhali, during which he allegedly called a Sikh police officer 'Khalistani'.

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BJP's Suvendu Adhikari has been accused by the TMC of calling a Sikh police officer 'Khalistani' during his visit to Sandeshkhali on Tuesday Photo: PTI and X
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The new faceoff issue between the ruling Trinamool Congress of West Bengal and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is an alleged "Khalistani" remark by latter's Suvendu Adhikari at a Sikh police officer in the state during his visit to the trouble-torn town of Sandeshkhali on Tuesday.

BJP leader and West Bengal Assembly Leader of Opposition (LoP) Suvendu Adhikari visited West Bengal's Sandeshkhali today after being given a green signal by the Calcutta High Court to make a visit to the town where multiple women have levelled allegations of land grabbing and sexual assault by ruling TMC's Shajahan Sheikh.

BJP's Suvendu Called Sikh Cop 'Khalistani'?

A row erupted after a Sikh IPS officer, who was deputed to prevent senior West Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari from visiting restive Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district, alleged saffron party activists allegedly dubbed him as a 'Khalistani'.

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"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 telling the BJP workers in Sandeshkhali.

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

The ruling Trinamool Congress also shared a video on X, claiming that it was Adhikari who had used the ‘Khalistani’ jibe at the officer.

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“EXPOSED! @BJP4India, your deep-rooted prejudice is laid bare. None other than LoP @SuvenduWB was the man behind the disrespectful ‘Khalistani’ slur. It’s no surprise that BJP leaders persist in dividing and spewing disgusting words. Their shameless attempt to stigmatise and demean an IPS Officer based on religious attire is unacceptable. Enough of hate-mongering, apologise now!” it said.

The West Bengal Police, too, asserted that the Leader of the Opposition called the Sikh IPS officer ‘Khalistani’.

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.

BJP Denies Charge

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

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

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"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. They also protested in Asansol.

Suvendu Adhikari, however, denied the charge and accused the TMC of trying to divert attention from the developments in Sandeshkhali.

“The allegations against me are baseless. It was the police officer who was instigating the supporters. If the TMC is so concerned about minorities, they should first take action against their councillor Ananya Banerjee, who has made objectionable remarks against the Christian community,” he told a press conference in Kolkata.

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The Bengal BJP later alleged on X that the state police was turning into "political pawns" of the TMC, and blamed the Sikh IPS officer for violating court orders.

Sandeshkhali has been rattled by protests after local women accused absconding Trinamool Congress leader Shajahan Sheikh and his supporters of “sexually assaulting" them under coercion.

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