Jeev`s coach asked to remove turban again

Amritinder was forced to remove his turban by security officials for second time at Milan airport.

Last Updated: Mar 23, 2011, 08:59 AM IST

New Delhi: Top Indian golfer Jeev Milkha
Singh`s coach Amritinder Singh was on Tuesday forced to remove his
turban by security officials for the second time at the same
Milan airport where he had to endure a painful ordeal last
week.

Amritinder, who was travelling with Jeev for the
Sicillian Open, was rudely told on March 15 by Milan airport
security officials that he could either remove the turban or
not board the flight which led to protest from the Indian
government.

Despite the expression of "regret" from Italy on that
episode, the security officials of the same airport today
asked Amritinder to remove his turban or miss the flight,
which left Jeev and his coach stunned.

Amritinder showed a letter of apology from the Italian
Golf Federation on what happened last week but to no avail.

"I told the security official -- who incidentally was the
same one who had made me remove my turban last week and put it
in a shoe tray -- that the European Union rules say that I
cannot be asked to remove my turban but it can be patted down.

However, he (securityman) said that he could not follow the
rule as he needed to see what was inside," Amritinder told PTI
from Milan.

"I showed him the letter of apology that I received from
the Italian Golf Federation and told him that what happened
last time was wrong, but he said there was nothing he could do
about it," said Amritinder who was travelling with Jeev to
Spain for the Andalucia Open which starts on Thursday.

Amritinder said he was taken to a private room this time
and surrounded by 10 policemen while he removed his turban.

"I understand that rules are important but then why are
they not followed. Most importantly, what is the Italian
government`s policy on turbaned Sikhs. Are they all guilty
till proved innocent?" asked Amritinder.

Jeev expressed shock that his coach was asked to remove
his turban for the second time, even after the Italian media
condemned the first incident last week.

"We are sportsmen and are treated with immense respect
everywhere in the world. This is the first time it has
happened but it seems that if we do not raise our voices
against it, this will soon become a trend. What we need is a
policy that protects our personal privacy and is well with the
rules," said Jeev.

PTI