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SIKH FEDERATION (UK) LEAD EUROPEAN-WIDE DELEGATION TO MEET EUROPEAN COMMISSION STAFF RESPONSIBLE FOR POLICY ON SEARCH OF SIKH TURBANS AT AIRPORTS

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SIKH FEDERATION (UK) LEAD EUROPEAN-WIDE DELEGATION TO MEET EUROPEAN COMMISSION STAFF RESPONSIBLE FOR POLICY ON SEARCH OF SIKH TURBANS AT AIRPORTS

23 January 2013

Earlier this week the Sikh Federation (UK) led a 12-member European-wide delegation of Sikhs to meet European Commission staff responsible for policy on airport security to clarify the position on search of Sikh turbans at airports.

On 17 December 2012 the Department for Transport in the UK wrote to Sikh organisations, including the Sikh Federation (UK), to confirm the new Regulation on Aviation security was expected to be published before 31 December 2012 and implemented in early 2013.

The new Regulation on Aviation Security will allow the option of Sikh turbans to be searched using the UK method that gives due respect to the Sikh turban. In the UK hand held metal detectors and Explosive Test Devise (ETD) technology (swab testing for chemicals) are used to check for anything inappropriate that may be in a turban. This means the turban does not need to be removed, searched by hand or even touched by hand. This gives due respect to the Sikh turban and provides a better security solution than hand searches.

The European-wide delegation led by the Sikh Federation (UK) met with Margus Rahuoja, Senior Advisor (Aviation Policy and Security) to Siim Kallas, Vice-President and European Commissioner for Transport. He commended the Sikh Federation (UK) for taking a robust, but sensible and pragmatic approach in dealing with the Department for Transport in the UK in securing both the need for respect for the Sikh turban and the need for suitable security.

Mr Rahuoja pointed out the new Regulation had now been finalised and would be published in February 2013. He suggested Sikhs living in different EU countries in mainland Europe, in particular countries like Italy, where there have been difficulties, immediately engage with their respective government departments responsible for airport security and target airports from where large numbers of Sikhs travel to ensure these airports have in place suitable equipment to allow the UK method of searching turbans to be available as soon as possible and security staff are given appropriate training.

Sikh representatives also discussed with European Commission staff what they should do if airport staff were deliberately offensive and discriminatory towards Sikhs with turbans. The meeting took place in the main European Commission Berlaymont Building in Brussels. The 12-member delegation of Sikhs included Sikhs from the UK, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands and comprised: Dabinderjit Singh, Daljit Singh, Harjinder Singh, Harwant Singh Daduwal, Jaspal Singh, Javinder Singh, Malkiat Singh, Sadhu Singh, Satnam Singh, Satwinder Singh, Talvinder Singh and Tarlochan Singh.

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Since the event in Europe, almost 4 weeks ago there have been numerous stories in Ajit from Sikhs across Europe. The latest one from today is below:

ਇਟਲੀ ਦੀਆਂ ਪੰਥਕ ਜਥੇਬੰਦੀਆਂ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਯੂਰਪੀਅਨ ਸੰਘ ਦੀ ਭਰਪੂਰ ਸ਼ਲਾਘਾ

ਬਰੇਸ਼ੀਆ (ਇਟਲੀ), 16 ਫਰਵਰੀ (ਬਲਦੇਵ ਸਿੰਘ ਬੂਰੇ ਜੱਟਾਂ)-ਯੂਰਪੀਅਨ ਸੰਘ ਦੁਆਰਾ ਸਿੱਖ ਕੌਮ ਦੀ ਸ਼ਾਨ ਦਸਤਾਰ ਨੂੰਮੱਦੇਨਜ਼ਰ ਰੱਖਦਿਆਂ ਹਵਾਈ ਅੱਡਿਆਂ 'ਤੇ ਤਲਾਸ਼ੀ ਲਈ ਬਣਾਏ ਨਵੇਂ ਕਾਨੂੰਨ ਦੀ ਇਟਲੀ ਦੀਆਂਪੰਥਕ ਜਥੇਬੰਦੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਭਰਪੂਰ ਸ਼ਲਾਘਾ ਕੀਤੀ ਹੈ | ਇਟਲੀ ਦੇ ਸਮੂਹ ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਸਾਂਝੀ ਨੈਸ਼ਨਲ ਧਰਮ ਪ੍ਰਚਾਰ ਕਮੇਟੀ ਦੇ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਭਾਈ ਹਰਵੰਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਦਾਦੂਵਾਲ, ਸ਼੍ਰੋਮਣੀ ਅਕਾਲੀ ਦਲ (ਅ) ਇਟਲੀ ਦੇ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਭਾਈ ਲਾਲ ਸਿੰਘ ਸੁਰਤਾਪੁਰ ਅਤੇ ਸਿੱਖ ਫੈਡਰੇਸ਼ਨ ਇਟਲੀ ਦੇ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਭਾਈ ਤਲਵਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਜਾਰੀ ਸਾਂਝੇ ਬਿਆਨ ਵਿਚ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੇ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਦੀ ਦਸਤਾਰ ਉਤਾਰੇ ਜਾਣ ਤੋਂਬਗੈਰ ਤਲਾਸ਼ੀ ਲੈਣ ਲਈ ਯੂਰਪ ਭਰ ਦੇ ਹਵਾਈ ਅੱਡਿਆਂ 'ਤੇ ਦਿੱਤੀ ਛੋਟ ਲਈ ਜਿਥੇ ਯੂਰਪੀਅਨ ਸੰਘ ਦਾ ਧੰਨਵਾਦ ਕੀਤਾ, ਉਥੇ ਹੀ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੇ ਇੰਗਲੈਂਡ ਦੀ ਸਿੱਖ ਫੈਡਰੇਸ਼ਨ ਦੇ ਸਮੂਹ ਆਗੂਆਂ ਦਾ ਵਿਸ਼ੇਸ਼ ਧੰਨਵਾਦ ਕੀਤਾ, ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੇ ਇਸ ਮਸਲੇ ਨੂੰ ਵੱਡੇ ਪੱਧਰ 'ਤੇ ਸਿੱਖ ਸੰਸਥਾਵਾਂ ਦੀ ਮਦਦ ਨਾਲ ਯੂਰਪੀਅਨ ਸੰਘ ਕੋਲ ਉਠਾਇਆ ਸੀ, ਜਿਸ ਦੇ ਫਲਸਰੂਪ ਸਿੱਖ ਕੌਮ ਨੂੰਇਹ ਸਫ਼ਲਤਾ ਮਿਲੀ ਹੈ |

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