“Because I wear Turban, you are telling me Khalistani”- An IPS officer’s reply to BJP leaders

Watch: Soon after the incident, Mamata Banerjee posted the video condemning the slur. Bengal Police too vehemently criticized use of Khalistani word against its officer and claimed that they have initiated legal action. Sikh organizations will protest before BJP office on Wednesday in Kolkata

Kolkata: A Sikh police officer, Jaspreet Singh, faced religious slurs during a politically charged incident in West Bengal. When Singh stopped Bharatiya Janata Party leaders from visiting the Sandeshkhali area, he was allegedly called “Khalistani” by BJP supporters, triggering outrage.

Singh, visibly upset, questioned the link between his turban and the derogatory term associated with a separatist movement. He asserted his duty, asking why religion was brought into the situation.

“Just because I am wearing a turban, you people are calling me a Khalistani? Is this what you have learnt? If a police officer wears a turban and performs his duty honestly, he becomes a Khalistani for you? Shame on you,” the IPS officer was heard saying to the BJP supporters.

Singh said he was just doing his job.

“I am just doing my job. Did I say anything about your religion, why are you speaking about my religion?” he said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reacted strongly, condemning the alleged slur and labelling it a “shameful” attempt to undermine the Sikh community’s contribution to India. She vowed to protect Bengal’s social harmony.

“Today, the BJP’s divisive politics has shamelessly overstepped constitutional boundaries. As per @BJP4India 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,” Mamata Banerjee posted on X.

However, the BJP denied the accusation, insisting the officer neglected his constitutional duty. This conflicting narrative adds another layer to the already tense situation.

Meanwhile, the Sikh community plans protests against the alleged slur, highlighting the potential for escalation.

Bengal Police too vehemently criticized the slur and claimed that they have initiated legal action.

“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 (sic),” Bengal Police posted on its official handle on X along with sharing the video clip of the incident.

However, IPS Association has yet to comment on the derogatory use of word on one of its officers.

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