"Don't Lecture Us": BJP Takes On Bengal Police Over "Khalistani" Slur Row

Accusing the officer of violating the Calcutta High Court order that allowed Suvendu Adhikari to visit Sandeshkhali, BJP alleged that Bengal police was "more interested in being a political player than policing".

'Don't Lecture Us': BJP Takes On Bengal Police Over 'Khalistani' Slur Row

A row has erupted over a video in which the officer says a BJP leader called him Khalistani


The BJP has come out strongly against allegations that its Bengal leader Suvendu Adhikari used "Khalistani" slur against a Sikh IPS officer during a face-off between BJP workers and police near Sandeshkhali island.

Accusing the officer, Jaspeet Singh, of violating the Calcutta High Court order that allowed Mr Adhikari to visit Sandeshkhali, the state BJP alleged that Bengal police was "more interested in being a political player than policing". Mr Adhikari alleged that the ruling Trinamool Congress cooked up the issue to divert attention from Sandeshkhali.

The face-off took place when Mr Adhikari, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, was on his way to Sandeshkhali, which has hit headlines amid allegations of land grab and extortion against local Trinamool leaders. The BJP has also alleged that the aides of Trinamool strongman Sheikh Shahjahan had sexually harassed woman.

In a post on X, Bengal BJP said state police officers had reduced themselves to "doormats" of Trinamool.

The officer, BJP said, "had no business getting hot under the collar, when it was him who was violating Calcutta High Court's order, by restricting LoP's movement? Under what provision did he stop the delegation when the single bench judge had approved LoP's visit?"

Dhamakhali, which is on the way to Sandeshkhali, witnessed high drama yesterday when Bengal police stopped Mr Adhikari from proceeding to the island despite a court order allowing him. He was eventually allowed to visit after the Calcutta High Court's nudge.

The IPS officer, BJP said, was acting as "an agent of the Chief Minister, who was hoping that the division bench would stay the single bench order". The officer, it alleged, kept holding up the BJP delegation.

"The concerned officer is in contempt of Court. It is a shame that the WB Police is willing to be a political pawn in the hands of Mamata Banerjee and is dragging in religion," the BJP said. It stressed that none of its leaders used the derogatory term, and accused the officer of using the occasion "to attract undue attention".

The BJP also questioned why Bengal police has not been able to arrest Shahjahan yet. The strongman has been missing since a mob of his supporters attacked a team of Enforcement Directorate that had gone to Sandeshkhali for a raid against him in a corruption case.

"Sheikh Shahjahan is absconding for 50 days now. WB Police should also wear it as a medal and reflect on their non-existent 'capability'. Go, arrest him, if you are 'capable' enough. Just today, the Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court has issued instruction to arrest Shahjahan and added that the state should not protect him. Does this shame WB Police?" they said.

The state BJP also shared visuals of Bengal police taking Sikh protesters into custody with their turbans off. "Here is a video and images to remind how disrespectful WB Police has been towards the Sikhs. You have pulled off turbans and dragged Sikh protesters on the streets, for taking on Mamata Banerjee's decrepit administration. So don't lecture us," it said.

The state BJP's rebuttal came after Bengal police accused Mr Adhikari of using the Khalistani slur for the Sikh officer and said the state's police fraternity was outraged. "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," it said, adding that it is initiating strict action in the matter.

Senior police officer from South Bengal, Supratim Sarkar, has said Mr Adhikari's alleged remarks did not befit a political leader. "We strongly protest against it. We will take legal action against him for this serious comment," he has said.

In response, Mr Adhikari has dared the officer to prove his charge within 24 hours. "I am telling Supratim Sarkar to give a proof within 24 hours. Or I will take legal action," he has said.

A massive political row has erupted over the viral video of the heated exchange between BJP leaders and the Sikh police officer. The officer is heard saying, "I am wearing a turban, that's why you call me a Khalistani? I will take action about this. You cannot attack my religion. I have not said anything about your religion." The BJP leaders are heard accusing the officer of not doing his duty and acting as a pawn of the state government.

Sharing the video on X, Ms Banerjee said 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 and sisters, revered for their sacrifices and unwavering determination to our nation," she said.

Soon after, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi shared the video and said the BJP's hate politics has poisoned the society. "Those blinded by this poison cannot see farmers or soldiers or cops," he said.

The video also drew a sharp response from Harjinder Singh Dhami, president of top Sikh body Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. "The intentional character assassination of a Sikh IPS officer S. Jaspreet Singh by the BJP leaders in West Bengal is highly condemnable. Leaders who have such thinking in the country should never forget that Sikhs have made the most sacrifices for the freedom and protection of the country," he said in a post on X.