Did BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari brand Sikh IPS officer as ‘Khalistani’?

| Updated: 21 February, 2024 4:31 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Allegations of a Sikh IPS officer being labelled a “Khalistani” by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Suvendu Adhikari have ignited a fierce political dispute in West Bengal.

The incident reportedly occurred during BJP leaders’ attempted entry into Sandeshkhali, North 24 Parganas, amid a controversy over allegations of sexual harassment involving TMC strongman Sheikh Shahjahan and his associates.

He was assigned to prevent Suvendu Adhikari from visiting the restive Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district. The officer got agitated after a group of activists from the saffron party allegedly hurled the ‘Khalistani’ jibe at him.

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Despite Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee raising the issue on her Twitter handle, the IPS association has not condemned or addressed the incident so far.

Videos shared by  Banerjee and West Bengal police have exacerbated the situation, with both TMC and Congress accusing the BJP of divisive tactics. Adhikari, however, denies using the term “Khalistani,” although the authenticity of the videos remains unverified.

In one video, Senior Superintendent of Police Jaspreet Singh is heard confronting BJP’s Asansol MLA Agnimitra Paul, stating, “You called me a Khalistani? If I had not worn a turban, would you have called me Khalistani?”

Watch The Video Here: 

Another video, shared by West Bengal Police, allegedly shows Adhikari referring to someone in the crowd as “eta hochhe Khalistani” (he is a Khalistani).

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The state police, led by Additional Director General-South Bengal Supratim Sarkar, deemed the purported remark as “unacceptable” and vowed to take legal action under IPC section 295A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class).

In response, Adhikari challenged the police to prove the allegation within 24 hours, threatening legal action if unable to do so.

In a Punjabi news channel interview, Singh specifically named Adhikari as the one who used the term.

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