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Posted at: Jun 6, 2019, 12:37 PM; last updated: Jun 7, 2019, 7:36 AM (IST)

Sikh denied entry to restaurant in US for wearing turban, says ‘hurt’

Sikh denied entry to restaurant in US for wearing turban, says ‘hurt’
A Sikh youth was recently denied entry to a restaurant in the US for wearing a turban. Photo credit: United Sikhs/ Facebook.

Tribune Web Desk 
Chandigarh, June 6 

A Sikh youth was recently denied entry to a restaurant in the US for wearing a turban when he went there to meet his friends post midnight, leaving him ‘hurt and embarrassed’, said a media report.  

The incident took place in Port Jefferson.

The 23-year-old, Gurvinder Grewal, went to Harbor Grill, but the security guard did not let him enter because of his headwear, citing new policy at the eatery.

Grewal, a graduate from the Stony Brook University, said: “I felt shocked, embarrassed and hurt. I never encountered a situation where I was refused a service or entry into an establishment for wearing a turban”.

He said that he tried to explain to the manager that he wore the turban to practise his religion and wanted to spend time with friends for the night. 

However, the manager at the Grill did not let him in. 

The policy was introduced at the bar, which enforces a dress code after 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, restricting all head-wears. 

In a Facebook post, the restaurant wrote: “[He was] wearing what would be more widely perceived as the slang term 'dew rag or a stocking cap’ and not a traditional turban”. 

"We do not allow hats or headwear in order to more capably identify people inside the establishment, the restaurant said. 

Clarifying their stand, the restaurant said that Harbor Grill embraced people of all races and religions, and did not discriminate against anyone for their creed or colour.

"We sincerely apologise for any distress that this incident may have caused. Please know that our weekend dress code policy is in place for the safety of all of our patrons," the restaurant said.

Anyone wearing any type of hat is welcome during normal restaurant hours, it said.

Grewal said Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant apologised to him for the incident and advised him on actions to take on the issue.

"Throughout my life, I’ve faced verbal abuse and bullying about my appearance, mostly throughout school. However, my basic freedom of entering public accommodations was never infringed upon," he said.

However, the restaurant changed its policy after the incident.

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