New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: A controversy erupted after a Sikh man's turban was pulled during West Bengal BJP's protest march in Howrah on Thursday. The video of the incident has since gone viral with the BJP accusing West Bengal Police of hurting the religious sentiments of Sikhs. Following criticism, the Police have clarified saying that 43-year-old Balwinder Singh, a resident of Bhatinda was carrying a gun and the turban had fallen automatically during the scuffle.

"The concerned person was carrying firearms in yesterday's protest. The Pagri had fallen off automatically in the scuffle that ensued, without any attempt to do so by our officer (visible in the video attached). It is never our intention to hurt the sentiments of any community," West Bengal police clarified.

The police also shared the picture of Singh before his arrest where he can be seen wearing his turban. The police said that they asked him to wear his turban before he was taken into the custody.

"West Bengal Police respects all religions. The officer specifically asked him to put his Pagri back before the arrest. The attached photo has been clicked right before he was escorted to the Police Station. We remain committed to our duty to uphold law and order in the state," the police said.

BJP leader Dilip Ghosh told media that the man was part of a BJP leader's security. The Trinamool Congress questioned the BJP over weapons being carried in the party's political rally. 

"We have never seen bombs and guns being used in political rallies. If you carry a pistol in a rally, what do you expect. Police has to do its job," Trinamool Congress leader Firhad Hakim said.

The police have recovered a 9 mm pistol was from Singh's possession. However, he has reportedly shown the police a valid gun licence. He was a former soldier and bought the gun during his service.

Posted By: Shashikant Sharma