After ‘Khalistani’ slur row, Bengal woman IPS officer recalls ‘sickening’ remarks made about her faith | India News – DollarJob

After ‘Khalistani’ slur row, Bengal woman IPS officer recalls ‘sickening’ remarks made about her faith | India News


In the wake of the controversy over a turban-clad police officer in West Bengal allegedly being called “Khalistani” by the leader of the Opposition, a woman IPS officer on Wednesday recalled how she had faced “sickening” remarks about her religious faith during work.

While extending support to the police officer who was allegedly called “Khalistani”, Mercy John, a 2012-batch IPS officer posted as SRP in Sealdah, wrote on the X platform, “I faced same every-time encountered them during law and order, after reading my name plate, used to get religious remark. More power to you Jaspreet.”

Speaking to The Indian Express, Mercy said such remarks had affected her personally but never had any impact on her work. She said she had been called names including “outsider” during her three and a half years as a deputy commissioner of police under the Bidhannagar police commissionerate, when she handled TET protests, among other law and order situations.

“ ‘Aapni Christian apni ki janben?… Don’t teach us, being an outsider…’ These comments have been common… It hurts when people read your name plate and say such things,” she said.

“I am happy about the way he (Jaspreet Singh) reacted. Usually we hear and we are so busy with handling law and order situations that we don’t react, but somewhere it has to stop. You can dislike my work style. You can have a difference of opinion and object to what DC Airport is saying, but reading my name plate and saying such things is very sickening and against the Constitution. It is good that someone like Jaspreet Singh reacted to it so firmly,” she said.

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Recalling one such incident in the Bidhannagar area, Mercy said, “I wouldn’t name the lady politician but during a law and order situation she said looking at my nameplate… Oh she is Christian? And then they called me an outsider and asked what I was doing there.”

For the past 11 months, Mercy has been posted in Sealdah.

The episode involving Jaspreet Singh has irked many other IPS officials of the Bengal cadre as well.

“One cannot let such appalling behaviour slide. The law of the land should be applied to whoever feels that those boundaries can be stretched according to their whims and fancies. There are special provisions in the SC/ST Act that penalise such casteist slurs. Similarly Section IPC 295A takes care of communally coloured statements. I wonder why the National Commission for Minorities hasn’t taken suo motu cognisance of this incident till now,” a senior IPS officer said on the condition of anonymity.

“Political activity is fine. Police are trained to deal with hostile behaviour and conduct. But it cannot be extended to the domains of caste and religion,” the officer added.

“It is a criminal act and once stern action is taken, a message will go to people and it is the need of the hour,” said another IPS officer who did not want to be named.

Jaspreet Singh, a 2016-batch IPS officer posted as a special superintendent of police in the intelligence branch, was seen in a video warning BJP leaders of strict action over the “Khalistani” slur.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee shared the video on X. “Today, the BJP’s divisive politics has shamelessly overstepped constitutional boundaries. As per @BJP4India every person wearing a TURBAN is a KHALISTANI.I VEHEMENTLY CONDEMN this audacious attempt to undermine the reputation of our SIKH BROTHERS & SISTERS, revered for their SACRIFICES and UNWAVERING DETERMINATION to our nation. We stand firm in protecting Bengal’s social harmony and will take stern lawful measures to prevent any attempts to disrupt it,” she wrote.

In the video, Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari purportedly calls Singh a “Khalistani”. The police officer then says the politician should not comment on his religion.

“Maine pagri pehna hai to aap mujhe khalistani bolenge. Itni apki himmat hai ki koi agar police ne pagri pehna hai to wo khalistani hai? Ek police officer jo apni duty kar raha hai use aap khalistani bol rahe ho bus isliye ki isme pagri pehni hai… Yeh galat hai bilkul,” Singh is heard saying during a verbal spat with BJP leaders in Dhamakhali in North 24 Parganas district.

ADG & IGP (South Bengal) Supratim Sarkar said later that legal action would be taken over the slur.

“How one deals with such attacks varies from person to person. If I were in Jaspreet’s place, I would have also protested. I am on official duty. Someone may question me saying by stopping politicians under section 144, I am overstepping my brief, or I can be dragged to court. But no one has a right to abuse me or attack me personally. We must stop this practice,” said a senior IPS officer of the Kolkata police.


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