Kolkata: Three days after the arrest of Balvinder Singh, the West Bengal home department on Sunday finally came out with a statement on Twitter saying a “particular political party” was trying to give a communal colour to the subject in narrow partisan interest.
“Our Sikh brothers and sisters live here in West Bengal in perfect peace and harmony, in happiness and tranquillity, with respect from all of us for their faith and practices. A recent incident when one isolated individual got caught with one illegally carried firearm amidst agitationists in an agitation that was not authorised is now being twisted out of context, being distorted and being given communal colour in fractious and partisan interest,” the statement said.
The controversial video went viral on social media after Singh – the personal security guard of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Priyangu Pandey, was held by the police during BJP’s protest march to the state secretariat on Thursday. In the video the West Bengal police were seen manhandling the Sikh man, disrespecting his turban and pulling him by his hair.
Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh on Friday had also expressed dissatisfaction over the incident. The ace Indian spinner had tagged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in his post on Twitter urging her to look into the matter. “This isn’t done,” Harbhajan had tweeted.
Police, however, had claimed that Balvinder Singh was illegally carrying a weapon during the BJP’s protest.
“One political party is giving communal colour to the subject in narrow partisan interest in a manner that Bengal does not believe in. Policing was done as per law, but with highest respect for the Sikh panth and ways from the government of West Bengal is affirmed,” the statement released by the home department pointed out, without naming any particular political party.
Earlier, BJP state unit president Dilip Ghosh had said that it was a licenced weapon and the person had valid documents for carrying the firearm. “Police should release him as he was a security person and was carrying a licenced weapon,” Ghosh had said.