BJP Leaders Face FIR Over Khalistani Slur Against Sikh IPS Officer

Sikh community writes to Mamata Banerjee, protests escalate in Kolkata

Kolkata: Three days after the alleged use of a derogatory word “Khalistani” against a Sikh Indian Police Service officer, an FIR against unknown BJP leaders has been registered at Bhawanipur Police station today. Gurmeet Singh, mentioned in the complaint as a member of Youth Khalsa Club, lodged the FIR. A case (No. 31, 23.02.23) has been registered under sections 295A (outraging religious feelings), 505 (2) (creating hatred and ill will against a community), and 34 (criminal act done by several people) of the Indian Penal Code.

On February 20, a team of BJP leaders, including the leader of the opposition Suvendu Adhikari, was going to Sandeshkhali, where it has been alleged that women were raped by Trinamool strongmen. When IPS officer Jaspreet Singh and his team stopped Adhikari and other BJP leaders, he was slurred with the Khalistani jab. The IPS officer then retaliated, stating that because he is wearing a turban, he is being termed Khalistani, which they cannot do.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while condemning the slur, shared the video from her official handle. The Bengal police also condemned the Khalistani slur and claimed that legal action would be initiated against the accused. Soon after the incident, a team of Sikh community members sat on dharna in the BJP’s office in Kolkata, demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. Some protesters also marched against the slur in Kolkata and Asansol. The community members continue their dharna. Today, they have also written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, seeking time to meet her. The Sikh community’s letter mentioned that their protest will continue until the perpetrators are brought to justice.

According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data released in December 2023, there was a 45 percent rise in hate speech cases in the last two years. While Muslims faced most hate speeches, either by Hindutva groups or BJP leaders, even a Muslim Member of Parliament, Danish Ali, had faced derogatory remarks by BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri inside the parliament, and no action was initiated against the BJP MP.

Since 2020, when mass farmer protests took place in India, and Sikh farmers participated in large numbers, Sikhs were termed Khalistanis, and this continued by BJP leaders and through television channels.

However, the hate speech against the Sikh community has made BJP defensive, which was very aggressive as rape allegations against TMC strongmen have surfaced in Sandeshkhali.

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