Tribune News Service
Kolkata, October 9
Balwinder Singh, a man arrested by Kolkata Police for carrying a gun during BJP’s protest rally in Kolkata on Thursday, is a Black Cat commando and a veteran of the Kargil war.
According to “bio-data” of Balwinder (45), 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 launched by the Vajpayee government to throw out intruders from Kargil.
Balwinder, who is originally from Bathinda, received commando training at NSG Training Centre at Manesar. The Special Forces jawan, whose character has been described as “exemplary” in the bio-data, is an expert in handling various types of weapons including AK-47 and the Israeli Tavore.
Vijaybargiya took umbrage saying that not only the soldier was roughed up by police, he was further insulted as his turban was removed.
“Security personnel Balwinder Singh has been beaten up by the Kolkata Police and his turban has been removed. He is a competent soldier who has done a number of military training courses. The humiliation heaped on such a daredevil by the Mamata regime is painful. The policemen responsible for the act must be punished”, Vijaybargiya, BJP general secretary, who is in-charge of the party’s West Bengal unit, tweeted.
According to police, Balwinder Singh is personal security guard of BJP leader Priyanshu Pandey. Both Balwinder and Priyanshu, who were among those taken into custody by the police for violence during the BJP’s “Nabanna Chalo Abhiyan” (March to state secretariat ‘Nabanna’) on Thursday, have been detained.
BJP national secretary Arvind Menon also condemned the police action. “West Bengal police have insulted the entire Sikh community by removing the turban of Balwinder Singh. It looks like Mughal rule is back in Bengal. The insult shows that except one community, others have no right to live in Bengal with dignity,” tweeted Menon.
BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga also posted a tweet criticising the alleged removal of Balwinder’s turban by police and said the act was reminiscent of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Video grabs of the incident showed Balwinder being dragged by the police by holding his shirt collar. However, his turban had already come off by then.
Brushing aside the criticism, police officials here said it was highly unusual for anyone to come to a protest rally with a loaded pistol (0.32 bore). The pistol was having a valid licensc but allowed for use in Rajouri only.