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West Bengal Police initiates legal action against BJP's Suvendu Adhikari for alleged 'Khalistani' slur

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North 24 Parganas (West Bengal) | February 21, 2024 10:53:47 AM IST
West Bengal police on Tuesday claimed that BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari hurled a 'Khalistani' slur at a Sikh police officer.

In a series of posts on 'X', the West Bengal Police expressed outrage and labelled the comment by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari as malicious, racial, communally inciting and a criminal act.

The police condemned the unprovoked, unacceptable attack on an individual's religious identity and added that stern legal action is being initiated.

"We, the West Bengal Police fraternity, are outraged to share this video, where one of our own officers was called 'Khalistani' by the state's Leader of the Opposition. His 'fault': he is both a proud Sikh, and a capable police officer who was trying to enforce the law...This comment is as much malicious and racial as it is communally inciting. It is a criminal act. We unequivocally condemn the unprovoked, unacceptable attack on an individual's religious identity and beliefs aimed to incite people to take to violence and break the law... Stern legal action is being initiated," the police said in a series of posts on 'X'.

Meanwhile, this incident has elicited a strong reaction from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who said that BJP's divisive politics has shamelessly overstepped constitutional boundaries.

"Today, the BJP's divisive politics has shamelessly overstepped constitutional boundaries. As per BJP 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. We stand firm in protecting Bengal's social harmony and will take stern lawful measures to prevent any attempts to disrupt it," she said in a post on 'X'.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, too, strongly condemned the incident, saying that BJP's poison of hatred has blinded them so much that they can neither see a farmer, a jawan or respect an officer in khaki.

"The poison spread by the BJP's 'cultivation of hatred' has tainted our 'political marketplace.' People who have been blinded by this poison are neither able to see the farmers, nor the soldiers, nor the respect for khaki. The nation stands with IPS Jaspreet Singh," he said in a post on 'X'.

According to ADG (South Bengal) Supratim Sarkar, the incident took place when a police force was deployed to enforce Section 144 in Dhamakhali this morning. The force was led by IPS Jaspeet Singh, SSP Intelligence Branch. Several MLAs, including West Bengal Opposition Leader Subhendu Adhikari, were present in Dhamakhali (and were on their way to Sandeshkhali). During an altercation with a police officer, Subhendu Adhikari referred to the officer as a Khalisthani.

"As you all know we had a police force to enforce section 144 in Dhamakhali this morning. It was headed by IPS Jaspeet Singh, SSP Intelligence Branch. There are several MLAs including West Bengal Opposition Leader Subhendu Adhikari in Dhamakhali. There was an altercation with the police officer during which Subhendu Adhikari called the police officer a Khalisthani, which is never befitting of a political leader. We strongly protest against it. We will take legal action against him for this serious comment," ADG Sarkar said.

The Sandeshkhali area has been witnessing unrest for over 10 days as women protestors are seeking justice against alleged atrocities committed by TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his aides.

A large number of women in Sandeshkhali had accused Trinamool Congress strongman Shajahan Sheikh and his supporters of "land-grab and sexually assaulting" them under coercion.

Meanwhile, on Monday, West Bengal Police arrested a journalist associated with Republic TV in Sandeshkhali.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a notice to the West Bengal Director General of Police (DGP) directing him to submit a report within two weeks in a case where a journalist of a vernacular news channel was unlawfully detained by police in Sandeshkhali.

The complainant, who also happens to be the wife of the journalist concerned, alleged that she has no access to him and is concerned about his well-being, the NHRC said, adding that she further submitted that it was an attempt to throttle the media in West Bengal through 'coercion and intimidation'.

Meanwhile, the Editors Guild of India also issued a statement on the arrest of the journalist in West Bengal.

Shajahan has been absconding 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.

Two TMC leaders, North 24 Parganas Zilla parishad member Shiba Prasad Hazra and local party functionary Uttam Sardar, were arrested by police and have been booked on charges of alleged gangrape and attempt to murder. (ANI)

 
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