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Sikhs are compelled to remove their turbans for so-called security reasons even in India

December 15, 2010 | By

Patiala (December 15, 2010): Taking a strong exception to the popularised view that the problem of compelling Sikhs to remove their turban for so-called security reasons exists in US, France or in foreign countries only; the SSF has maintained that the problem exists in India, and even in Punjab also. “Sikhs in India, and even in Punjab, are facing similar situation, where they are compelled to remove their turbans by police authorities” said Parmjeet Singh Gazi, National President of SSF.
US authorities’ bid to compel India’s diplomat H. S. Puri to remove his turban for security reasons has raised a cause of concern for Sikhs across the globe. In this context the Sikh Students Federation has also slammed such a derogatory practise of forcible removal of turban, whether it is followed by US or India or any other country.
“The Sikhs are forced to remove turban when they are confined in police station’s confinement cell and this a common practise followed by police authorities throughout India” claimed Gazi, who maintained that there is no legal base to do so.

He further informed that SSF had challenged this practise in Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2005-06, and in reply Punjab’s Additional Advocate General presented a copy of communication sent by Punjab Police’s ADGP (Crime) that Sikh detainees shall be allowed to wear half meter long cloth. But even today the Sikhs are not allowed to cover their head in police stations’ confinement cells, maintained Gazi. He criticised police administration for justifying this derogatory practise by taking the security plea.

He said that Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision on dastar issue was not as per Sikh aspirations, because the problem of compulsion to remove turban would persist even if a detainee was afterwards allowed to cover his head with small cloth. Moreover it would be applicable in Punjab only, but the problem exists across all police stations in India.
SSF has decided to raise the issue Akal Takhat Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, who has decided consider the problem of forcible removal of turban in foreign countries.

“We have decided to bring this to the the attention of Jathedar of Akal Takhat. We want him to take up the issue in forcible removal of Dastar (turban) in totality, including the issue of Sikh detainees in India, and for that purpose a delegation of SSF will soon seek appointment from Giani Gurbachan Singh”, said Gazi.

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