Act to stop turban checks, Akali Dal tells government

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

CHANDIGARH - The ruling Akali Dal in Punjab Tuesday termed Indian diplomat Hardeep Puri’s ‘pat down’ episode in the US as an outrage and urged the central government to launch a diplomatic initiative to ensure that Sikhs’ turbans were not checked anywhere in the world.

Puri, India’s permanent representative to the UN, was screened by security officials at Austin airport last month.

Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal said: “This incident is an outrage not only against Sikh religion but against all civilised norms of conduct. We appreciate the action of Puri in resisting this attack on his religious identity.”

“We urge Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to issue strict instructions to the ministry for external affairs to circulate an advisory to all Indian High Commissions, embassies and diplomatic missions abroad for taking special steps to stop such incidents in future,” she said.

Badal said the government must demand an apology from countries where such incidents take place and also seek guarantees against any recurrence.

“I have an uncomfortable feeling that our government did not press this matter hard enough with the visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy. This must be counted as a diplomatic failure,” said Badal.

Filed under: Religion

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