Saturday, January 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Sikhs in jail can wear ‘patka’
T. R. Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 10
Acting on a complaint from the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) that Sikhs brought to lock-ups or jails in the national Capital are forced to remove their turbans, the Delhi police has decided to allow Sikh accused persons to use “patka” in lock-up.

The NCM had received general complaints from Sikh organisations that whenever Sikhs are brought to the lock-up, they are forced to remove their turbans without being provided a “patka” or a cloth to cover their heads.

“The forcible removal of turbans of Sikhs by any authority is against the Sikh tradition,” the NCM observed in a letter to the Commissioner of Police on the advice of its Vice-Chairman Tarlochan Singh.

The NCM in its letter dated November 12 last year to the Commissioner of Police at the Police Headquarters here urged him to “kindly look into this sensitive issue and give suitable directions to all concerned.” The NCM may also be kept informed of the instructions issued by the Commissioner of Police, the letter by a senior official of the NCM said.

The Additional Commissioner of Police, General Administration, Delhi Police, Mr Mansur Ali Sayed, replied to the NCM on December 30 that the issue of forcible removal of turbans of Sikhs brought to lock-up/jails has been examined at length. “The final outcome of the case is that Sikh accused persons have been allowed to use “patka” in lock-up.”

Mr Sayed has further informed the NCM that all concerned are being briefed on this issue by the district DCP/DAP III Bn, Crime and IGI Airport.

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