India to take up turban issue with Italy

New Delhi, Mar 16 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S M Krishna condemning the issue of golfer Amritinder Singh being asked to take off his turban at the Milan airport during security check, on Wednesday said the Indian Government strongly protests against such maltreatment and the sensitive matter will be taken up with Italy.

"Well, we have very strongly protested against such a security measure. We are proud of the turbans that the Sikhs in the subcontinent wear and we would like that there is an element of sanctity in wearing the turbans," said Krishna.

"We respect that and our sensitivity and our sentiments of all billion Indians cannot be hurt. So, whenever there has been a violation of this, we take it up whether it is United States or the government of Italy," he added.

India's top golfer Jeev Milkha Singh's coach Amritinder Singh had a harrowing experience at Milan's Malpensa airport on Tuesday, where security officials forced him to remove his turban and place it on a basket for clearance before being allowed to board a transit flight to Rome.

Talking about the Indians stuck in the tsunami and earthquake hit Japan, Krishna said the government is doing everything possible and is in constant touch with the Indian Ambassador in Tokyo.

"Well, our ambassador in Tokyo in Japan has been in touch with the Indian community there. Depending upon the other reports, he is also in touch with the government of Japan," said Krishna.

"Depending upon the situation there, Government of India will do everything possible, if it needs to be and if it becomes absolutely necessary we can evacuate them. It all depends on the value judgments of both the Indian community as well as our ambassador," he added.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday setup a helpline for stranded Indian citizens in Japan, following a massive tsunami that struck northeast Japan on Friday.

Japan is reeling under the devastating effects of a massive earthquake, measuring 9 on the Richter scale.

The Japanese Government has mobilised a widespread rescue effort to deliver food, water and fuel, and pull stranded survivors from buildings and damaged homes. (ANI)