Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa, in a letter, addressed to External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar expressed concern over a condemnable incident where an Air India pilot was asked to remove his turban. The incident took place at Spain's Madrid airport. Sirsa urged the EAM to take up the matter at the international level. Sirsa stated that this is a case of bias and racism towards the 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," Sirsa stated in the letter.
Madrid airport is notorious for racial discrimination incidents. Last evening, Captain Simran Gujral of Air India was harassed and discriminated because of his turban.— Manjinder S Sirsa (@mssirsa) November 27, 2019
I request @DrSJaishankar Ji to raise this issue at the global level@ANI @thetribunechd @ABPNews @htTweets pic.twitter.com/J65t7PMffO
"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," Sirsa added. Manjinder Singh Sirsa further informed the EAM that such incidents are very common at Madrid airport, with previous incidents being reported earlier too, in the recent past, where people of Sikh faith were asked to remove the 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's 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," the SAD chief stated.
पगड़ी सिखों का वजूद है और अगर पगड़ी के कारण किसी सिख को रोका जाता है या नीचा दिखाया जाता है तो यह जातीय गुनाह है@DrSJaishankar जी से विनती- मैड्रिड एयरपोर्ट पर कैप्टन सिमरन गुजराल के साथ जो हुआ; उस मुद्दे को विश्व स्तर पर उठाया जाये ताकि सिखो के साथ हो रहे भेदभाव को रोका जाये pic.twitter.com/B8lDJIcnsi— Manjinder S Sirsa (@mssirsa) November 27, 2019
On Tuesday, the SAD leader said he got a call from the AI pilot, who apprised him about his mistreatment by officials at the Madrid airport. "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 the turban. This is a racial behaviour and a disrespect towards Sikh turban," he tweeted.