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Business News/ News / India/  West Bengal news: BJP allegedly hurls 'Khalistani' jibe at IPS officer in Sandeshkhali; Sikhs plan protest. What we know
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West Bengal news: BJP allegedly hurls 'Khalistani' jibe at IPS officer in Sandeshkhali; Sikhs plan protest. What we know

The Sikh IPS officer had been stationed to prevent senior West Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari from visiting restive Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district.

IPS officer Jaspreet Singh, who along with his team was deputed at Dhamakhali and had put up barricades to stop Suvendu Adhikari from visiting Sandeshkhali located just across Kalindi River (Screengrab from video shared by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee)Premium
IPS officer Jaspreet Singh, who along with his team was deputed at Dhamakhali and had put up barricades to stop Suvendu Adhikari from visiting Sandeshkhali located just across Kalindi River (Screengrab from video shared by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee)

West Bengal's violence-stricken Sandeshkhali saw a newer problem erupt when Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) workers allegedly called an IPS officer deputed at Dhamakhali a ‘Khalistani’. The Sikh IPS officer had been stationed to prevent senior West Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari from visiting restive Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district.

Here's what we know so far

IPS Officer Called ‘Khalistani’ by BJP

IPS officer Jaspreet Singh, who along with his team was deputed at Dhamakhali and had put up barricades to stop Suvendu Adhikari from visiting Sandeshkhali located just across Kalindi River, was allegedly called a "Khalistani" by a group of BJP supporters.

"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," he was heard saying to the BJP supporters.

IPS officer Jaspreet Singh said he was just doing his job.

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

What Was BJP's response?

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

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

"No one has abused him or used the word Khalistani. He is trying to make an issue. The police officer was not performing his duty as per the Constitution," Paul said.

What Did Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee Say?

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the BJP's "divisive politics has shamelessly overstepped constitutional boundaries", and condemned the "audacious attempt to undermine the reputation of Sikhs, revered for their sacrifices and unwavering determination to our nation".

Mamata Banerjee shared a video clip on X and said the BJP's divisive politics has crossed all constitutional limits.

"Today, the BJP's divisive politics has shamelessly overstepped constitutional boundaries. 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," she said.

Sikhs Plan Protest Outside BJP Premises

Members of the Sikh community planned to gherao the BJP's state headquarters on Muralidhar Lane in Kolkata in protest against the 'Khalistani' jibe, as reported by news agency PTI citing TMC officials in the know.

They are also planning another protest in Asansol, the PTI report added.

BJP Leader Suvendu Adhikari's Sandeshkhali Visit

Earlier in the day, West Bengal police had stopped Suvendu Adhikari from visiting Sandeshkhali, citing the imposition of prohibitory orders and the state government moving the division bench against a single bench order on Monday allowing the leader of the opposition in the assembly to visit the trouble-torn area.

He later reached Sandeskhali after being granted permission by the division bench of the Calcutta High Court to visit the restive area.

Sandeshkhali Unrest

Sandeshkhali had witnessed a series of protests after local women accused absconding Trinamool Congress leader Shajahan Sheikh and his supporters of "land-grab and sexually assaulting" them under coercion.

Shajahan is on the run after a mob, allegedly affiliated with him, attacked Enforcement Directorate officials who had gone to search his premises in connection with a ration scam on January 5.

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Published: 20 Feb 2024, 07:53 PM IST
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