Turban removal: Punjab CM to take up matter with PM

Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal termed removal of turban in the name of security checks a direct assault on Sikh identity.

Gidderbaha: Terming removal of turban in the name of security checks a direct assault on Sikh identity, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday said the Union government must mount pressure on countries, resorting to this measure, to desist from such practices.

It was most unfortunate that Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee chief Manjit Singh was asked to remove his turban during frisking at the Rome international airport, he told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

The removal of turban in the name of security checks at international airports was a "direct assault on the Sikh identity badly tormenting their psyche", Badal said.

"This grave disrespect to the Sikhs is not at all tolerable," the Chief Minister said.

"The External Affairs ministry must tell respective foreign governments to accord due respect to the turban by desisting from such practices which have the potential to hurt religious sentiments of the Sikhs," he said.

"I will soon take up the matter with the Prime Minister and the External Affairs minister," Badal said.

In Ropar, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, referring to the Rome incident, said this showed "Italy cares two hoots for India".

This was the third such incident at an Italian international airport in the past one year, the SAD chief said.

He said he had already written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid urging them to take strong diplomatic action against Italy.

It was unfortunate that with a Sikh as Prime Minister and a Sikh lady as Minister of State for External Affairs, the country had failed to protect the members of the community in foreign countries, the Junior Badal said.


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