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Viral visuals of police wrestling a Sikh man to the ground during the BJP's mega protest

October 10, 2020 10:10 AM

Kolkata, October 9, 2020
Viral visuals of the police wrestling a Sikh man to the ground during the BJP's mega protest in Kolkata's twin city Howrah on Thursday during a protest march have set off a major controversy with the party accusing the police of hurting religious sentiments by pulling off the turban of 43-year-old Balwinder Singh, a resident of Bhatinda. Responding the controversy hours after it erupted, the West Bengal Police said it never intended to hurt the sentiments of any community. There was a struggle to seize a pistol in Mr Singh's possession and the turban, police said, fell off "automatically".

The controversy gathered so much momentum on social media on Friday, 24 hours after the incident, with multiple BJP leaders tweeting about it, even cricketer Harbhajan Singh tweeted, tagging Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, to say, "Please look into the matter. This just isn't done".

Shiromani Akali Dal, too, demanded that Mamata Banerjee take action against the policemen responsible for the attack on Mr Singh, who has been sent to police custody till Monday.

A 9 mm pistol was seized from Mr Singh who provided a gun licence after his arrest that identified him as a former soldier with Rashtriya Rifles in Rajouri in Jammu and Kashimir. BJP leader Dilip Ghosh, when asked about it on Thursday, had said Mr Singh was the security of a BJP leader.

In the night tweet, the West Bengal Police defended its actions and shared a photo saying they ensured Mr Singh had his turban back on before being arrested.
- Agencies

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