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‘BJP's Suvendu Adhikari Called Me Khalistani As I Wear Turban’: Sikh Cop in WB

SSP Jaspreet Singh alleged that protesting BJP leaders in West Bengal’s Dhamakhali called him a ‘Khalistani’.

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A Sikh IPS officer deputed in West Bengal’s Dhamakhali alleged on Tuesday, 20 February, that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders called him a ‘Khalistani’ as he stopped them from heading to the restive Sandeshkhali.

In a purported video shared by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the police official identified as Senior Superintendent of Police (IB) Jaspreet Singh was seen exchanging heated remarks with protesting BJP leaders.

Jaspreet Singh is a West Bengal cadre IPS officer of the 2016 batch.

In a purported video that has gone viral, IPS officer Jaspreet Singh can be heard telling BJP leaders, “Why are you calling me a Khalistani? Is that because of my religion? Is that because I wear a turban?”

"I will take action on this. I am not speaking about anyone's religion, why are you speaking about my religion," Singh added.

In an interview with ABC Punjabi, Singh alleged that it was BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari who made the 'Khalistani' remark against him.

West Bengal Leader of Opposition and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari as well as BJP MLA Agnimitra Paul and several other BJP leaders were trying to visit Sandeshkhali, a village in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat also reportedly tried to reach Sandeshkhali but was stopped by the authorities.

The otherwise sleepy Sundarban island has been at the centre of a political maelstrom after several women levelled allegations of sexual abuse and torture by Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Shahjahan Sheikh and his aides.

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BJP Denies Calling SSP Singh a 'Khalistani'

BJP MLA Agnimitra Paul, who can also be seen in the purported video, refuted such allegations. Instead, Paul claimed that the police officer was "not performing his duties".

The word ‘Khalistani’ is used to refer to the supporters of an independent Sikh state ‘Khalistan’. However, the term has been increasingly used by right-wing supporters, specifically against the protesting farmers in Punjab and Haryana, in a derogatory manner.

SGPC, Opposition Condemn Incident

Issuing a statement over the row, Harjinder Singh Dhami, president of the apex Sikh body Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, said: “The intentional character assassination of a Sikh IPS officer S Jaspreet Singh by the BJP leaders in West Bengal is highly condemnable. Leaders who have such thinking in the country should never forget that Sikhs have made the most sacrifices for the freedom and protection of the country.”

Interestingly, national president of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Jayant Singh, who recently joined the saffron party-led NDA camp, also came out in support of IPS officer Jaspreet Singh.

In a post on X in the early hours of 21 February, the RLD chief said, "I can understand the anger of IPS Jaspreet Singh!"

Reacting to the incident, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee accused the BJP of "overstepping constitutional boundaries" and "insulting" the Sikh community.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge wrote on X, "BJP-RSS have only worked to spread poison in the society in the name of religion in this country. The sting of religious fanaticism spread by the BJP is poisoning our diverse culture to such an extent that protectors of the law are being branded terrorists in the name of religion."

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on X in Hindi that the "country is with IPS officer Jaspreet Singh".

AAP Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab and prominent Sikh industrialist, Vikramjeet Singh Sahney has also been vocal against rising "hate speech" in the recent days, calling for strict action against those spreading it.

Taking to X over the viral video, Sahney sought "immediate and strict action" against those responsible for making the remark.

Later in the day, a few Sikhs held a protest outside the BJP’s state headquarters at Muralidhar Lane in Kolkata over the alleged ‘Khalistani’ remark.

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Bathinda Lok Sabha MP and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal also showed solidarity to the police officer.

"I also commend Sardar Jaspreet Singh for staying calm in the discharge of his duty despite grave provocation. We are all proud of you Jaspreet Ji," she said on X, while urging the BJP for taking strict action on those responsible.

Meanwhile, the West Bengal Police, in a post on X, condemned the West Bengal LoP over his alleged remark, and said that strict action was being initiated in the case.

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Topics:  Trinamool Congress   sikhs   Khalistani 

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