Turban search incident with Jeev`s coach unfortunate: Maken

New Delhi: Sports Minister Ajay Maken termed "unfortunate and demoralising" the turban removal incident of star golfer Jeev Milkha Singh`s coach during a security check at the Milan Airport.

"It is unfortunate. This sort of incident demoralises our players. The External Affairs ministry will take up the matter with the appropriate French authority," Maken told reporters here during his visit to the Indian hockey`s team preparatory camp for international tournaments, including the 2012 London Olympics.

Amritinder Singh, who was accompanying Jeev for three tournaments on the European Tour, was yesterday told that he could either remove the turban or not board the flight, with several people at the Milan airport watching the scene.

Jeev protested by telling the airport security officials that it was nothing but harassment, but to no avail.

The adamant security staff at the airport let the duo board the flight only after Amritinder removed his turban and it was checked by them.

"I told the security people that this is not the way to conduct. I have been travelling for close to 35 years but such a thing had never happened," Amritinder Singh later told reporters over phone from Italy.

"It is a personal insult as I have travelled all over the world and even though security officials put their detectors around my turban, I have never had to remove my turban. For me it is like being asked to strip in public," he said.

Jeev called up India`s Counsellor General in Italy and apprised him of the development after the incident.

An agitated Jeev also said that it was nothing but harassment of him and his coach by the Italian authorities.

The 39-year-old Jeev is currently ranked 176 in the world and has won three European Tour events -- the Volvo Masters, China Open in 2006 and the 2008 Austrian Open.

He also has six victories on the Asian Tour. His Volvo Masters win was at a co-sanctioned event.


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