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November 10, 2001
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Canadian Sikh forced to remove turban at LaGuardia

Ajit Jain in Toronto

Surjit Babra, president of the $100 million portfolio SkyLink, "was forced to remove his turban" at LaGuardia airport in New York, allegedly as part of a security inspection.

In a press release, Indo-Canadian Member of Parliament Gurbax Malhi, himself a turbaned Sikh, said that "while understanding and sharing the terrible circumstances that have led to this point", the United States should "train and educate security personnel so that they will respect the right of people of the Sikh religion to wear turbans and not subject them to this undignified and unnecessary procedure".

rediff.com tried to reach Babra several times, but he wouldn't respond to telephone calls.

Businessman Garry Singh, a close friend of Babra, recounted that it was on Wednesday evening, when he was going through security before boarding his flight to Toronto at LaGuardia, that the incident took place.

Babra was asked to remove his turban by the security guard. The Sikh businessman suggested that the guard use a hand-held scanner to scan his turban. If he were still not satisfied, he would then remove his turban.

The security guard wouldn't accept that and made him remove his turban immediately.

Malhi said, "In Canada we have learned to respect religious symbols." The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has changed its rules to allow Sikhs to wear turbans on duty.

Babra's SkyKink moves UN peacekeeping personnel and equipment to various countries in the world.

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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