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Bengal governor reacts to ‘Khalistani’ row: 'Should not do anything which hurt..'

Feb 22, 2024 05:46 PM IST

Governor Bose announced to make Punjabi Bagh in its estate as a tribute and symbol of Bengal's abiding admiration for the Punjabi community.

West Bengal governor CV Ananda Bose on Thursday reacted to the ongoing stir over a Sikh IPS officer who was allegedly called "Khalistani" by some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists in Dhamakhali saying anyone should not do anything which could even remotely hurt the sentiments of the Punjabi community people.

West Bengal governor CV Ananda Bose(PTI)

Governor Bose further assured the Punjabi fraternity residing in Bengal of support and help.

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In a letter addressed the Sikh delegation, the governor said, “In Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore's land, where his salutation to the Nation begins with Punjab, 'Punjaba, Sindhu, Gujarata, Maratha..., we should not do anything which could even remotely hurt the sentiments of our Punjabi brethren.”

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"The Turban that adorns a Punjabi symbolises a unique gravitas and is sacred as sacred could be. Guru Nanak Dev is venerated as one of the most precious symbols of Indian religious and cultural ethos. I would like to assure our Punjabi fraternity that Bengal stands by you, India stands by you, society stands by you, our culture stands by you," the letter further said.

He also announced to make Punjabi Bagh in its estate as a tribute and symbol of Bengal's abiding admiration for the Punjabi community.

"Raj Bhavan will be making a Punjabi Bagh in its estate as a tribute and symbol of Bengal's abiding admiration for the Punjabi community. The legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh's portrait will be unveiled in Raj Bhavan, Kolkata on 23.03.2024 marking the day of his martyrdom," it said.

Earlier on Wednesday, chief minister Mamata Banerjee extended her support of the official, saying that the official was only doing his duty and should not have been called a 'Khalistani' just for wearing a turban.

“What was the fault of the officer doing his duty? Is there no Sikh regiment in the force? We respect all religions. If an officer wears a turban, how can you call him Khalistani? There are Muslim IAS, IPS, and WBCS officers; how can you call them Pakistani just because someone is a Muslim officer? I have been mocked using so many names, but I never reacted to it," she said.

A Sikh police official, who was deployed at Dhamakhali in a bid to prevent BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari from visiting Sandeshkhali , was confronted by protesting BJP workers who allegedly called the official 'Khalistani'.

Meanwhile, the state police claimed Adhikari hurled a 'Khalistani' slur at a Sikh police officer. The police condemned the unprovoked, unacceptable attack on an individual's religious identity and added that stern legal action is being initiated.

Meanwhile, on the Sandeshkhali violence, the governor sounded a note of optimism saying something 'hopeful' and positive will come out of the disturbing and distressing events in the area of North 24 Parganas district.

The town of Sandeshkhali has been witnessing unrest for over 10 days as women protestors are seeking justice for allegedly land-grabbing and sexually assaulting" them under coercion by Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his aides.

The police so far have arrested 18 people for their alleged involvement in violent protests.

Shajahan has been absconding after a mob, allegedly affiliated with him, attacked Enforcement Directorate officials who had gone to search his premises in connection with a ration scam in January this year.

(With inputs from agencies)

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