BJP flayed for playing up ‘Sikh assault’ angle

The police had arrested Balwinder Singh, the bodyguard of BJP leader Priyangu Pandey and had recovered a firearm from his possession

BJP flayed for playing up ‘Sikh assault’ angle

(Screengrab: Twitter/@BJP4Bengal)

Two days after BJP workers clashed with police in the streets of Kolkata and Howrah in the course of their attempt to stage a march to the state secretariat, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh sought to portray police action against the armed bodyguard of a party leader during the Nabanna march as an assault on a Sikh person.

This provoked a scathing response from the Trinamul Congress, which slammed the BJP for shamelessly communalising the issue.

The police had arrested Balwinder Singh, the bodyguard of BJP leader Priyangu Pandey and had recovered a firearm from his possession. Also, one police officer, while searching the bodyguard, allegedly had pulled off Singh’s turban, which earned criticism from states like Punjab.


Yesterday, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh had expressed shock at the ‘humiliating treatment’ of a Sikh man by Bengal police using his twitter handle and also has sought action against the ‘offender’ policeman.

The state police meanwhile claimed that the person was carrying a firearm without permission and his headgear had fallen off by chance.

Initially, the BJP was upset over the recovery of firearms and a section of leaders had claimed that the ruling Trinamul Congress had ‘planted’ such people in the rally deliberately to defame the BJP.

The party however changed its tune, and its president Ghosh, while addressing the newspersons at the party’s district headquarters in Burdwan said today: “Had the bodyguard been wearing a round cap (that the Muslims used to wear) instead a turban, would the police have dared to touch him?”

Mocking the police action, he added: “Bengal police has hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs by doing this heinous act.” He also slammed the arrest of Singh saying: “The police cannot arrest a bodyguard for possessing a licensed gun.”

Ainul Haque, a district committee leader of the BJP who recently shifted to the Trinamul Congress in Burdwan town ridiculed Ghosh and said: “If the BJP leaders feel safer in the hands of persons wearing round caps, then why don’t they hire Muslim bodyguards!”

In Kolkata, the state urban development minister Firad Hakim said the state administration has arrested those who were involved in hooliganism and carrying firearms bombs and bricks.

The BJP has a one point programme to communalise any issue, he said.

West Bengal police, unlike their UP and Delhi counterparts do not arrest anyone on basis of religion. This happens only in BJP-run states and Delhi, said the minister.

He said the accused was an outsider and carrying illegal arms.

He said,”When we were involved in movements I was arrested many times but I never said that I was arrested as I belong to a religious minority.” He said that the BJP is shamelessly communalising the issue.