KOLKATA: The West Bengal government on Sunday said that a political outfit was deliberately giving "communal colour" to last week's incident involving a Sikh man, whose turban came off during a scuffle with the police, to serve its "narrow partisan interest".
The state home department, in a tweet, said the person was arrested in accordance with the law for carrying illegal firearms during BJP's march to the secretariat.
"Our Sikh brothers and sisters live in West Bengal in perfect peace and harmony, in happiness and tranquility, with respect from all of us for their faith and practices."
"A recent incident when one isolated individual got caught with one illegally carried firearm amidst agitationists in an agitation that was not authorized is now being twisted out of context, being distorted, and being given communal colors in fractious and partisan interest (sic)," the home department wrote on its Twitter handle.
It further asserted that the state government has the highest regard for the Sikhs and their ways.
"One political party is giving communal colour to the subject in narrow partisan interest in a manner that Bengal does not believe in. Policing was done as per law, but highest respect for the Sikh panth and ways from GOWB is affirmed," the department said on the microblogging site.
Controversy erupted after visuals of the police beating up a Sikh man during BJP's protest on Thursday went viral on social media, with a section of Netizens claiming that the police had pulled his turban during the scuffle.
The saffron brigade claimed that the incident has hurt religious sentiments.
Tagging Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh tweeted, "Please look into the matter. This just isn't done."
Balbinder Singh, a resident of Punjab, is a former Indian Army soldier.
He is currently employed as a private security officer of a BJP leader, the saffron party claimed.
The West Bengal Police, on its part, said that the "pagri had fallen off automatically".
"The concerned person was carrying firearms in yesterday's (Thursday's) protest. The Pagri had fallen off automatically in the scuffle that ensued, without any attempt to do so by our officer. It is never our intention to hurt the sentiments of any community," the Bengal police tweeted.
Meanwhile, the National Commission for Minorities has taken note of a complaint filed by a Delhi BJP leader who has sought action into the incident in Howrah.
Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga on Sunday wrote a letter to Minorities Commission member Atif Rasheed, demanding "strictest possible" action in this regard.
In a tweet, Rasheed said, "As a member of Minorities Commission I have immediately taken cognizance of your complaint and the Commission will take the required action in the matter by tomorrow."
In the letter, Bagga said, "What is happening in Bengal is really unforgivable. Brutal attack on security officer Balwinder Singh and disrespect of his turban by West Bengal Police is really shameful and condemnable act."
Bagga further said, "I have really lost my sleep over this. This is really unforgettable. I urge you to take action against erring police officers as soon as possible."
Singh, a resident of Bhatinda, is a former Indian Army soldier and currently works as a private security officer of a BJP leader, the party leadership claimed.
The BJP, whose protest march to the state secretariat Nabanna on October 8 witnessed clashes with police, has accused the Trinamool Congress government of hurting the sentiments of Sikhs.
The TMC had dubbed the allegations as "baseless" and said accused the BJP of "trying to communalise the issue"