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Controversial Traveller Slashes Vendor With Kirpan


Jan 29, 2011
Vancouver, Canada
Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...s-vendors-with-kirpan/articleshow/9130803.cms

HOWRAH: It doesn't pay to mess with passengers, particularly if they are armed, these two vendors of Howrah station learnt much to their own expense on Wednesday morning. Bijan Shaw and Manoj Singh, the two vendors, are now admitted to the Howrah district hospital with serious injuries. Doctors attending to them said that Shaw could have lost his life had Singh not rushed to his rescue. Their attacker, 60-year-old T{censored}n Singh from Verka in Amritsar, Punjab, is now cooling his heels behind bars and has been charged with causing grievous hurt with dangerous weapon.

The elderly Sikh was visiting people at Gauripur in Dum Dum. On Tuesday, he had gone to Bandel on some work and was to return home by the Amritsar Express on Wednesday. T{censored}n Singh reached Howrah from Bandel around 11am and decided to while away the next three hours at the station. He was waiting near some stalls close to Gates 5 and 6 when Shaw - the helper of Stall No. 11 - decided to have some fun at the old man's expense.

According to sources, Shaw picked up a conversation with the Sardarji and began to quiz him about his strange attire. T{censored}n Singh was dressed in traditional clothing and had his kirpan stuck to his cummerbund. Witnesses claimed that Singh was quite genial at first and did his best to answer Shaw's queries. There was a communication gap as the Sikh gentleman spoke chaste Punjabi while Shaw knew only Hindi and Bangla. Trouble erupted after Shaw asked Singh for some khaini (chewing tobacco). The latter told the vendor that his religion doesn't allow him to have tobacco. This seemed to amuse Shaw and he insisted that Singh was lying.

"The vendor then took out some khaini from his pocket and began to prepare it. It is not quite clear what happened after that but the Sikh gentleman suddenly lost his temper, pulled out his kirpan and slashed at Shaw. The blow glanced of the vendor's head and landed on his left arm, nearly severing it. Manoj Singh, another vendor, rushed to Shaw's assistance and took the next blow. By then, policemen rushed to the spot and disarmed Singh. He didn't put up any resistance but followed the policemen to the outpost," a passenger said.

Shaw and Manoj Singh were sent to hospital in a railway ambulance. Once there, they lodged a complaint against Singh. They alleged that Singh had asked for khaini from them and reacted violently after being denied. Shaw said that he had denied khaini to Singh as he didn't know him. For the moment, the Government Railway Police are going on this version as Singh hasn't been able to convince them otherwise. He admitted though that he lost his temper after being 'bugged' by the vendor for quite some time.

"What he did was wrong and a case has been registered against him. His version is not very clear," said Rabindranath Mukherjee, superintendent of railway police, Howrah.
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