Kin seek release of war veteran assaulted in West Bengal

Balwinder Singh was arrested for carrying gun during BJP’s protest rally

Kin seek release of war veteran assaulted in West Bengal

Karamjit Kaur, the wife of Kargil war veteran Balwinder Singh, during a press conference in Howrah, West Bengal. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service
Bathinda, October 16

The wife and 16-year-old son of Balwinder Singh, a Black Cat commando and veteran of the Kargil war, who was allegedly assaulted and arrested by the police in Howrah, West Bengal, have been running from pillar to post seeking his release.

Karamjit Kaur and her son had visited Howrah from Barkandi village in Bathinda along with Manjinder Singh Sirsa, president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee. They met the Governor of West Bengal, who promised them justice. Sikh organisations in West Bengal have joined hands and submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in this regard.

Notably, Balwinder, now retired, has been serving as the personal security officer of West Bengal BJP leader Priyanshu Pandey and was arrested by the Kolkata police for carrying a gun during BJP’s protest rally.

Talking to The Tribune over the phone, Karamjit said, “My husband has done no harm to anyone. I fear for his life. I couldn’t stay home and decided to fight against the injustice. In the garb of an investigation, the WB police have illegally detained my husband while there are

deliberate attempts of giving political overtones to the issue.”

Sirsa, in a video posted on the social media, has condemned the act of the local police and “unsupportive” approach of the state government.

Rupinder Singh, Balwinder’s cousin, who accompanied his wife to WB, said, “We have been exploring every possible alternative for Balwinder’s release and seeking support from all quarters to get strict punishment to the police personnel, who not only beat him but also tossed his turban and dragged him by his hair, thereby hurting religious sentiments of the Sikh community.”

“At the protest venue, the pistol carried by Balwinder was a licensed one but the WB police have slapped stringent sections against him that may sentence him for life,” he said.

Gurtej Singh (71), father of Balwinder, said, “In the video circulated on the social media, my son can be clearly seen urging the police not to toss his turban but they did it thrice and then dragged him by his hair. Nothing can be more shameful than this. The Sikh community must stand united to ensure his safe and secure release.”

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