M A I N   N E W S

Sinha to take up turban issue with French minister
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 12
The proposed French ban on wearing ostensible religious symbols in public schools has been listed on the agenda of the talks between visiting French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin and External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha.

National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Chairperson Tarlochan Singh who had requested the inclusion of the sensitive issue in de Villepin’s dialogue with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Yashwant Sinha said that he had got a positive intimation from the MEA.

Mr Tarlochan Singh will voice the concern of 20 million Sikhs in India to the proposed ban on religious symbols when be meets Mr Villepin at Imperial Hotel here on Friday.

France’s lower House of Parliament on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to ban students from wearing Islamic headscarves and other religious apparel in public schools. The measure was approved 494-36.

The NCM Chairperson told TNS he would apprise Mr Villepin of the significance of turban in Sikh religion. “Wearing turban is not an exhibition of religious symbols. It is an integral part of Sikh tenets,” he said.

Several Sikh organisations have launched a signature campaign to place on record their opposition to the proposed legislation. A delegation of Sikhs led by Vikramjit Singh Sahney, International President of World Punjabi Organisation met French Ambassador, Dominique Girard and submitted a memorandum signed by 100,000 Sikhs.


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