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Air India pilot allegedly forced to remove turban at Spain airport

News Agencies | Updated on: 28 November 2019, 9:07 IST
Air India pilot allegedly forced to remove turban at Spain airport (FIle pic)

An Air India pilot was asked to remove his turban at the Madrid airport in Spain recently, said Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) party, adding that it has written a letter in this regard to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar urging him to take up the matter at the international level.

SAD leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa said he was informed of the incident through a phone call by the pilot, Captain Simranjeet Singh Gujral, on Tuesday. He said Me Gujral was asked to remove his headgear by airport officials, despite crossing the metal detector, which is a case of bias and racism towards Sikhs.

"I wish to share with you the harassment faced by an Air India official, Captain Simranjeet Singh Gujral, at Madrid airport. He was subjected to racial discrimination because of his turban. The Madrid airport officials demanded him to remove his turban and asked for a manual check-up of his turban which is an offence in the eyes of a Sikh," Mr Sirsa said in the letter.

"All this happened despite Captain Gujral clearing the metal detectors. Truly, this is a case of bias and racial attitude towards Sikhs at the Madrid airport," he added.



The SAD leader told S Jaishankar that such incidents have happened at Madrid airport earlier too, where Sikh people were asked to remove their turban or the officials disrespected the turban by manhandling the people from the community.

"As you are well aware, the turban is the essence of a Sikh identity and it is important to create awareness at the global level about how sensitive Sikhs are about their turban. I request your good self to raise this issue at the global level and especially with Spain government at Madrid airport who continue to hurt our sentiments and play the "ignorance" card to their advantage," Mr Sirsa said.

"I got a call from Captain Simran Gujral from the AIR INDIA flying AI 136 who was harassed at Madrid Airport where the airport officials mistreated him just because he was wearing turban. This is a racial behaviour and a disrespect towards Sikh turban," he tweeted along with a video message.

"I request @DrSJaishankar Ji to address the issue at the global level and ensure that Sikhs don''t get mistreated globally because of their turban," Mr Sirsa added.


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First published: 28 November 2019, 9:05 IST