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Desecration of Turban: Statements of Jagjeet Singh (Victim), Pritam Singh (S.P.-D.) and Kulbhushan Sharma (S.H.O.)

April 13, 2011 | By

Chandigarh, PUNJAB (April 13, 2011): Advocate Navkiran Singh has provided English translation of Statements of Mohali (28 March, 2011) incident victim S. Jagjeet Singh and both accused police officers. The incident had sparked a wave of strong protest among Sikhs across the globe, after a short video clip appeared on YouTube, which showed that the turban of a Sikh was removed by police in public, in a disgraceful manner. Information shared by Advocate Navkiran Singh reads as follows:

Statement of Jagjit Singh s/o Jaspal Singh (Victim):
S.Jagjit Singh son of S.Jaspal Singh, Pharmacist Rural Health, Bhitti Sainda, Block Chogawan, District Amritsar resident of Guru Nagar Abadi Verka Amritsar, gave his statement that he is resident of aforesaid address and working as Pharmacist from last 5 years in the Department of Rural Health Development at Bhitti Saida. ON 28.3.2011, they were sitting on hunger strike at Rural Development and Panchayat Bhawan Mohali, Phase-8, Sector-62. Afternoon they were taking out a rally with their union and other employees very peacefully. Where police stopped them by putting barrier over there and cane charged them. He also suffered cane blows and he got off on one side of the road and stood there. And S.P. Sahib police caught hold of his collar and said to SHO Sahib to take off his turban, tie his arms and put him in the van(car). On his asking SHO Sahib took off his turban and held in his hand and took him towards the van. He did not know that who took his photo at that time of incident and who recorded the voice. He requested SHO Sahib that he may let him tie his turban so, while tying turban, he ran away from them. During the whole incident, police did not say anything against Sikhs or Sikhism.

Statement of Pritam Singh S.P.(D):
Shri Pritam Singh S.P.(D) presented his written statement afternoon at 3.45 PM(copy attached) which is as under, That he was posted as S.P.(D) on 28.3.2011 at District S.A.S.Nagar. On that date 28.3.2011, he and Shri Harpreet Singh S.P.City(1) District S.A.S.Nagar had gone to VIP’S ground regarding preparation of Helipad for VVIP duty. Suddenly we were informed that members of Punjab Rural Veterinary Pharmacist and Rural Health Pharmacist Associations who are 1000 to 1200 in number, who were protesting from last some days at Vikas Bhawan Phase-8, Mohali, for their demands, have suddenly marched towards PCA Stadium in the form of an unlawful assembly with a criminal intention to start rioting where a semifinal between India and Pakistan was to be played on 30.3.2011. Which was in the scanner of whole media, where at that time, team of Pakistan which was at high risk of threat perception in India, was practicing in stadium. And to stop that unlawful assembly from going towards stadium was mine and my forces first and for most duty as police officer as respect of country was connected to it. When I, my colleagues and force reached near them, then, in the presence of Duty Magistrate we tried to make them understand verbally but they did not pay any heed and they in form of unlawful assembly, by interrupting the duty of police and breaking the barriers, started moving towards stadium. On our stopping them, they as per their preplanned conspiracy and criminal intention, started brick batting us, in which many police officer got hurt, regarding which an FIR No.18 on the statement of Head Constable Jagat Singh No.3C666 dated 28.3.2011, was got registered under sections 353/186/332/283/188/148/149 IPC, Police Station Phase-8, against Kuldeep Singh, President and Bhagat Sigh Vice President and in its self defence police had to throw as per the orders of Magistrate in his presence, tear gas and mild cane charge, with which this illegal assembly shattered and some of them were taken in custody. In this incident police force had to follow them to some distance in order to scatter them away. In this whole incident, a member of this illegal assembly got out of his own control and was in a dangerous and continuous manner brick-batting and pelting stones at police. As police officer, it was my duty to take him under control because of his illegal action, life and property of public was in constant danger. Immediately with my force, I moved towards him and took him under control and gave in the custody of police party headed by Sub Inspector Kulbhushan, S.H.O. Police Station Phase-8. Now, it has come into my notice that regarding this rally, some mischievous elements have put in on “You Tube” by exaggerating and distorting the same. Even I have seen these pictures carefully in which while handing over that mischievous element to police party, I only uttered, that do not take off his turban. In this my no bad intention or anything to hurt his feeling comes out. I have obeyed my duty as disciplined police officer only as per rules and regulations. It is also worth mentioning here that I am a “Keshadhari Gur Sikh” and I belong to a Gur Sikh family. There is a lot of respect for turban in my and my family’s heart. Even I wear a turban, so I always remain sensitive about turban and Sikh ethics.I have never thought of hurting anybody’s religious sentiments and neither I did anything on that day with the intention of hurting anybody’s religious sentiments.

Statement of Kulbhushan Sharma (SI), SHO:
Shri Kulbhushan Sharma Sub Inspector, S.H.O. Police Station Phase-8 has got recorded his statement as. He was posted as S.H.O. Police Station Phase-8, District S.A.S.Nagar since 24.12.2010. Punjab Rural Pharmacist and Rural Health Pharmacist had seen from 21.3.2011 onwards, protesting at Vikas Bhawan Phase-8. So that no unpleasant act/incidence is done by them, so on 28.3.2011 I was on duty at Vikas Bhawan Phase-8 Mohali. On 28.3.2011 semifinal of World Cup was to be played between India and Pakistan. In order to stop before hand any probable unpleasant incident, senior officer were already present regarding this VVIP duty. On 28.3.2011 at noon, protesters of rally of Punjab Rural Veterinary Pharmacist and Rural Health Pharmacist Association had turned in form of unlawful assembly and heads of this rally had clearly announced that they will go to YPS crossing and cause disruption in traffic and will burn effigies of S.Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister Punjab, Vice Chief Minister Punjab and Punjab Government in the middle of road. This announcement of protestors was immediately given to S.P.City Phase(1) S.Harpreet Singh by mobile call, who gave me instructions that you try to stop them and he will also reach on spot after informing officers. Meanwhile, these protestors instead of going to YPS Chowk, started moving towards PCA Stadium by pushing police officials and officers and raising slogans against government. Pakistani team was practicing in the stadium at that time. So, intention of this assembly was to come in lime-light by causing hurdles in the practice of Pakistani team. Meanwhile, Sh. Pritam Singh S.P.(D) Mohali and Shri Harpreet Singh S.P.City Mohali alongwith police force had come on spot. Senior officers tried to make them understand verbally in the presence of Magistrate. But these protestors were moving towards stadium breaking the police barriers. So, in order to prevent any unpleasant incident we started stopping them from going towards stadium. But inspite of this, these protestors, with intention to encircle the practicing Pakistani team and cause destruction to stadium, breaking police barriers and brick-batting police officials, started running towards PCA stadium. Because of brick-batting many police officials and officers were injured. Regarding which on the statement of Head Constable Jagat Singh No.3C/666 FIR No.18 dated 28.3.2011 is registered under section 353/186/332/283/188/148/149 IPC, at Police Station Phase-8, Mohali. As per orders of Magistrate tear gas was used to scatter the assembly. But these protestors were proceeding towards stadium which constantly pelting stones at police. Out of this unlawful assembly, one protestor was constantly pelting stones at police and exciting the crowd. He was caught by Sh.Pritam Singh S.P.(D) and handed over to me. To maintain the respect of beard of that protestor, he was caught hold from back of collar. As soon that person started to get free himself with force then his turban came off, but, so that turban may not be disrespected by falling, so I safely held the turban in my hand. Later I came to know that regarding the taking off his turban, matter is being shown on “You Tube” by distorting and Exaggerating. I personally respect Sikh religion and turban’s respect as my personal friends are “Amritdhari” also. As I have always respected Sikhism. So, being SHO, I had arranged “Akhand Path” in Phase-8 on 21.2.2011. I have not taken any action with intention to hurt any person’s religious sentiments. I had no ill-intention and neither I did anything wrong intentionally. I, doing my duty and obeying S. Pritam Singh S.P.(D) Mohali’s orders and keeping in view the safety of people and property, caught that Sikh protestor, so that the safety of Pakistani team and PCA teams be maintained.

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