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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Sikhs meet Bengal Governor, protest 'Khalistani slur' against IPS officer

Sikh IPS officer Jaspreet Singh has claimed that Adhikari, leader of the opposition in the state assembly, had used the term 'Khalistani' against him when he was halted by the police while en route to restive Sandeshkhali on Tuesday

PTI Calcutta Published 22.02.24, 10:49 PM
CV Ananda Bose.

CV Ananda Bose. File Photo

Representatives of the Sikh community on Thursday called on West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose to protest against alleged "Khalistani" jibe at an IPS officer by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari.

Bose said that nothing should be done which could hurt the sentiments of "our Punjabi brethren".

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Sikh IPS officer Jaspreet Singh has claimed that Adhikari, leader of the opposition in the state assembly, had used the term "Khalistani" against him when he was halted by the police while en route to restive Sandeshkhali on Tuesday.

Though the BJP leader denied making any such comment, the matter escalated to a major row.

"The manner in which Suvendu Adhikari used the term Khalistani against the IPS officer is insulting. It hurt the sentiment of every member of the Sikh community," a spokesperson of the community told reporters near Raj Bhavan after meeting Bose.

Jaspreet Singh cannot be called a "Khalistani" just because he wears a turban, said the spokesperson who represented members of seven Gurudwaras of Kolkata.

Referring to the importance and sacredness of turbans, he said an affront to any turban-wearing member of the community is tantamount to insulting the Sikh Gurus.

"Sikhs in the country will not take this lying down," the spokesperson said.

Bose, as the constitutional head of West Bengal, was urged to write a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee about the "humiliation caused to a Sikh IPS officer on duty and appropriately address the grievances of the community," he added.

The governor issued a statement after meeting the Sikh delegation.

In the line 'Punjab, Sindhu, Gujarat, Maratha' of the national anthem written by Rabindranath Tagore, salutation to the country begins with Punjab, Bose said.

"In Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore's land,... we should not do anything which could even remotely hurt the sentiments of our Punjabi brethren," Bose said in the statement.

Referring to the contribution of the Punjabis in defending the country's security, Bose said that the "turban that adorns a Punjabi symbolises a unique gravitas and is sacred as sacred could be".

Stating that the Punjabi "kisans are at the forefront to ensure that we have enough foodgrains to feed the nation," the Governor assured the Punjabi fraternity that "Bengal stands by you, India stands by you, society stands by you, our culture stands by you." Bose said that the Raj Bhavan "will be making a Punjabi Bagh in its estate as a tribute and symbol of Bengal's abiding admiration for the Punjabi community" and a portrait of the legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh will be unveiled there on March 23 to mark the day of his martyrdom.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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