Punjab CM accuses BJP of questioning Sikh police officer’s patriotism

Chandigarh, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Wednesday accused BJP leaders of questioning a Sikh police officer’s patriotism in West Bengal and demanded an apology from the saffron party.

Mann was apparently referring to a senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer’s allegation that he was called a “Khalistani” during an altercation after stopping a group of BJP MLAsinclduing the state Assembly’s Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari from entering Sandeshkhali in West Bengal on Tuesday.

Adhikari and another BJP legislator from Wes Bengal Agnimira Pal have both denied the police officer’s allegation.

Mann said it is “unfortunate” that the leaders of the saffron party are raising questions on the credentials of the community that is known for its patriotism and nationalism.

” …it is unfortunate that BJP leaders are branding a Sikh officer performing his duty meticulously as anti-national. This is a grave insult of the Punjabis in general and the Sikh community in particular,” said Mann.

He said the BJP leaders have forgotten that the Punjabis in general and Sikh community in particular have made countless sacrifices for the country’s freedom. Likewise, he said the enormous contribution of the Sikh farmers in making the country self reliant in food production can also not be ignored.

Similarly, he said the valiant sons of Punjab are making supreme sacrifices for safeguarding the borders of the country.

“The great Sikh Gurus have taught us to fight against tyranny, injustice and oppression,” he said, adding, This humiliation will not be tolerated at any cost”.

He said the BJP leadership should tender apologies for the “irresponsible, callous and discriminatory” attitude of their leaders.

Mann said the entire Punjab is solidly with the valiant officer who had left no stone unturned to perform his duty well.

Senior IPS officer Jaspreet Singh was seen on a purported video, that has gone viral, reacting angrily alleging that someone had called him a “Khalistani” after he stopped the delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party legislators led by Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari.

Jaspreet Singh was having an exchange of words with Adhikari and another BJP MLA Agnimitra Pal at Dhamakhali, when the senior cop was seen shouting “Why did you call me a Khalistani? I will take action on this. Just because I am wearing a turban, you are saying this? Had I not been wearing a turban, would you have called me a Khalistani?

“You can’t comment in this way about my religion,” he was seen saying in the purported video of the alleged incident, as an angry Pal asked him to carry out his responsibilities dutifully. “None of us here have uttered such a thing,” she said, denying his allegation.

The IPS officer, however, continued: “Whatever you want to tell the police, you are free to d say. But you can’t say such things about my religion. Is this the level of your guts? Is this your level?”