Ex-Armyman Balwinder Singh, who was assaulted by West Bengal police along with pulling off his turban, has been sent to 8 days of police remand by a local court in Kolkata. Even though there was a nationwide outrage against disrespecting the Sikh religious headgear by police, the Mamata Banerjee govt had arrested him on the charges of carrying firearm illegally.
Akali Dal leader and President of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Manjinder Singh Sirsa informed that the security officer has been sent to police remand, and said that Akali Dal is monitoring the situation minutely.
Balwinder Singh was taken into custody by police during the Nabanna Chalo protests by BJYM and BJP on Thursday. Singh is the personal security officer of BJP leader Priyanshu Pandey, who was also detained by police. Balwinder Singh was arrested from the Howrah Maidan by the WB police, as the on-duty Sikh security official was carrying a loaded gun. Speaking to the media from inside a police vehicle, BJP leader Priyangu Pandey said that Singh held a proper licence for the gun he carried.
The WB police had argued that Singh’s licence was valid only in Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir as it was issued there. However, the BJP leader asserted that Balwinder Singh’s arms licence has a stamp of an all India permit and can be used anywhere across the country. The BJP leader said that after working in Assam, Balwinder Singh had joined him in Kolkata. Pandey said that despite having an all India Arms licence, the way WB police snatched the gun from Singh’s hand, the way they assaulted the ex-army officer was disgraceful.
Balwinder Singh speaking to the media also confirmed that his arms licence had been issued from Rajouri but had an all India permit. He said that he was just standing in one corner when the police officer suddenly attacked him. He was dragged and his turban was ripped off in full public view.
Balwinder Singh is a Black Cat commando and a veteran of the Kargil war. According to the bio-data of Balwinder Singh, tweeted by BJP leader Kailash Vijaybargiya, he was with the Special Forces (6 Para) and had taken part in multiple military operations including Operation Vijay during the Kargil war.
A delegation led by Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee President Manindar Singh Sirsa submitted a representation to the West Bengal governor. Calling the act of West Bengal police a grave insult to entire Sikh Community, the delegation demanded justice for Balwinder Singh.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar assured the delegation that all steps would be taken for such outrage. He said that in no civilised society such blatant abuse of police power can be countenanced or condoned, and it is in disregard of Supreme Court directives.