Sikhs protest against French law banning turbans

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{image-sikhs 011_25012008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Gwalior, Jan 25 : A Sikh organisation has organised a street protest here today against French President Nicholas Sarkozy to express resentment against the French legislation that bars Sikhs from wearing turbans in France. As French President Nicolas Sarkozy touched the Indian soil on Friday, Sikhs staged a protest in central Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh.

Members of the Shiromani Akali Dal-Amritsar (a regional Sikh political outfit) led by its president Simranjit Singh Maan, registered their opposition to the French law by staging a demonstration. The protestors holding banners and placards chanted anti-Sarkozy and anti-France slogans to show their disapproval of the Indian government decision to invite the French President.

"We are protesting against Indian government's decision to call in French president Nicolas Sarkozy as the chief guest at the Republic day celebrations. France has prohibited Sikh children from attending school wearing turbans, and the President of the same country has been called in our country," said Simranjit Singh Maan, President of Shiromani Akali Dal-Amritsar.

Acting President of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) Sukhbir Singh Badal said that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh should take up the turban ban issue with Presidennt Sarkozy since he himself was a sikh.

KanwarPal Bittu, spokesperson Khalsa Action Committee, alleged that Indian Government has failed to resolve the issue as they had conveyed their concern to the Indian authorities many times.

The French law is mainly aimed at the Islamic head gear, but is also affecting people of the Sikh community who wear turbans as per their religion.

A large number of Indian Sikhs who migrated to Canada, the US and Europe, have emerged as successful entrepreneurs and also have at places representation in the Parliaments of these countries.

Wearing the turban is an article of faith for the Sikhs and they are required by their religion to have their hair covered all times by a turban.

The small Sikh community in France has been recently caught up in legal wrangles with the French Government on this issue.

ANI

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