Pat-down of Sikh diplomat: Sukhbir writes to PM

Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal asked PM to take up the issue of the pat-down of a Sikh diplomat with President Barack Obama.

Chandigarh: Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up the issue of the pat-down of a Sikh diplomat at a US airport recently with President Barack Obama.

Badal, also SAD president, took strong exception to what he called humiliation of diplomat Hardeep Singh Puri who was asked to remove his turban during security check two weeks ago at Houston airport.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, he requested him to take up the issue with US President to put an end to such practices.

There was strong resentment among the Sikh community across the world on repeated humiliation of Sikhs at airports in the US, Badal said in the letter.
The Central government had failed to properly convey the hurt sentiments of the Sikh community all over the world on the matter to Obama during his recent visit to India, the letter said.

Puri, India`s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, was asked by airport officials to remove his turban during a security check.

When Puri refused to remove his turban, the officials made him wait for over half-an-hour in a `holding room`.

India has lodged an official protest through its Consulate General in Houston with the US authorities.
On December four, diplomat Meera Shankar was pulled out from an airport security line and patted down by an American security agent in Mississippi.