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India raises turban issue with France

February 12, 2004 21:24 IST

India has "sensitised" the French government on the Sikh community's concerns over a proposed legislation banning all religious symbols, including turbans, in public schools in that country, an external affairs ministry official said in New Delhi on Thursday.

The Sikh community in France has also taken up the matter with the French government, which has expressed "some understanding for these concerns at a high level", he said.

The issue may crop up during Friday's talks in New Delhi between External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha and his French counterpart Dominique de Villepin.

Various Sikh organisations have launched a signature campaign to protest against the move.

A delegation of various Sikh dignitaries led by Vikramjit Singh Sahney, international president, World Punjabi Organisation on Wednesday evening met French Ambassador Dominique Girard and submitted a memorandum signed by 100,000 Sikhs.

Villepin, who is on a two-day visit, will call on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday evening.

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