Sikh pilot asked to remove turban during security check at Madrid airport: DSGMC

New Delhi, Nov 28 (PTI) A Sikh pilot of Air India was allegedly asked to remove his turban during a manual security check at the Madrid airport, the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has told External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

DSGMC president Manjinder Singh Sirsa requested Jaishankar to raise the matter with the Spanish government - and at the global level - as the incident that happened with Air India's Captain Simranjeet Singh Gujral hurts the Sikh community's sentiments.

'The Madrid airport officials demanded him (Gujral) to remove his turban and asked for a manual check of his turban which is an offence in the eyes of Sikhs. All this happened despite Captain Gujral clearing the metal detectors,' Sirsa said in his letter to Jaishankar.

He added that this is a 'case of bias and racial attitude towards Sikhs at the Madrid airport'.

'Such incidents have happened there in the recent past also when Sikhs were asked to remove the turban or the airport officials disrespected the turban by manhandling the Sikhs,' Sirsa said.

He added that the turban is the essence of a Sikh's identity and it is important to create awareness at the global level about how sensitive Sikhs are about their turban.

'I request your good self to raise this issue at the global level and specially with Spanish government at Madrid airport who continue to hurt our sentiments and play the 'ignorance' card to their advantage,' Sirsa said.

Air India did not respond to queries sent by PTI on the matter. PTI DSP SMN