A video of the West Bengal police wrestling a Sikh man to the ground during the BJP’s rally on Thursday has gone viral. The man in question, identified as Balbinder Singh was arrested with a pistol from GT Road in Howrah.
However, the party has alleged accused the police of hurting religious sentiments by pulling off Singh’s turban.
The police denied the charge, saying that the pagri fell off during the scuffle and that the man was asked to put it on before he was arrested.
The outrage over the incident had cricketer Harbhajan Singh tweeting to chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday, saying: “Please look into this matter @MamataOfficial this isn’t done.”
He posted tweets and news video clippings tweeted by BJP’s Delhi unit secretary Impreet Singh Bakshi.
The same tweets and videos were also shared by BJP national secretary Arvind Menon and other leaders.
A few members of the Sikh community staged a silent protest in central Kolkata.
Police charged Singh under the Indian Arms Act as the licence he carried was issued in Rajourie, Kashmir. It was not valid in West Bengal.
Singh was produced in Howrah court on Friday and remanded in custody.
“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 around 10 pm on Friday, attaching a video of the incident.
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(1/2) pic.twitter.com/aE8UgN36W5— West Bengal Police (@WBPolice) October 9, 2020
“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,” said a second tweet.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine