Chandigarh: Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up the issue of Quebec province`s move to impose a ban on wearing turban (head gear) and sporting kirpan (dagger) by Sikhs with the Canadian government immediately.
The Union government should intervene in the matter at the earliest to safeguard the rights and interests of Sikhs, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief said in a statement here.
The Quebec province`s move to impose a ban on wearing turban and sporting kirpan by Sikhs and head gear by Muslims and Jews at public places, schools, colleges and religious places was intended to target the minorities, he said.
"This is unfortunate and cannot be accepted at any cost," Badal said.
Moreover, the move was against religious rights of the Sikhs in Canada where in many provinces their mother tongue Punjabi had been accorded the status of second language, he said.
A delegation of SAD MPs would soon call on the Prime Minister and External Affairs minister Salman Khurshid in this regard, the SAD president said.
The Prime Minister, who himself is a Sikh, should take up the isssue with his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper who recently visited Punjab and paid obeisance at Sri Anandpur Sahib, Badal said.
Harper was well-aware about the rich cultural and religious heritage of the Sikhs and his party would also write to Punjabi MPs in Canada to bring the issue to his knowledge, the Deputy Chief Minister said.