Howrah: A court here Monday granted bail to Balwinder Singh, whose arrest at BJP’s ‘Nabanna Chalo’ rally, earlier this month led to an uproar. During the rally Balwinder Singh’s turban came off as he scuffled with the police over his firearm, officials said.
Balwinder is a resident of Bhatinda in Punjab. He has been in the custody of the Howrah City Police since his arrest from the rally October 8. “He was granted conditional bail by a court in Howrah,” a senior police officer said.
Balwinder, a private security officer hired by a BJP leader, was booked under sections of the IPC and the Arms Act for carrying a firearm, the license of which is valid only in the Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, police claimed.
Controversy had erupted after clips of the police beating up Balwinder, 43, during the BJP’s march to the state secretariat – Nabanna, amid widespread vandalism went viral on social media.
A section of people claimed on social that the police had pulled his turban during the scuffle, following which it came off. However, the police have denied the charge. He was arrested with a loaded pistol.
The turban controversy emerged as a major political flashpoint between the TMC and the BJP. The opposition party accused West Bengal government of hurting religious sentiments.
The government had said that ‘communal colour’ was deliberately being given to the incident to serve ‘narrow partisan interest’.
Balwinder’s wife and son had come here Tuesday and met Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar at Raj Bhavan. They sought his intervention on the issue.
Violence had erupted in Kolkata and adjoining Howrah October 8 as BJP activists tried to go past barricades put up by the police to stop their rally to the secretariat.