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Sikh News Sikh traveller asked to remove turban at New York airpor

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by kaur-1, May 13, 2007.

  1. kaur-1

    kaur-1
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    Sikh traveller asked to remove turban at New York airport
    May 12, 2007 - 4:35:18 PM
    SSNEWS

    Gurinder Singh a resident of Sacramento in USA a green card holder Sikh who allegedly faced humilation in the hands of TSA security and US police officials said he was asked to take off the turban for security clearance at the Buffalo airport.

    Gurinder Singh is Real Estate Broker in California and Nevada and General Secretary Northern Nevada Sikh Society. He is living in USA since 1996.

    He has written a letter to all Sikh organisation to take up his case. We reproduce here the text of letter writtn by Gurinder Singh without any prejudice.

    I, Gurinder Singh practice Sikhism. I was asked by TSA officer to take off the turban and unwrap it to clear Buffalo International Airport security check at 5.30am on May 06, 2007.

    I flew from Sacramento to Buffalo on April 28, 2007 on United Airline Flight #UA 0298 and was going to return on May 06, 2007 at 6.00 a.m. on United Airline Flight # UA 0641 from Buffalo to Sacramento via Chicago.

    It was around 5.30 a.m. Security check was very smooth and Security Alarm did not go off but still TSA Lady Security Officer asked the other TSA Security Officer to check my Headgear. The officer asked the other officer if Security Alarm went off and she said no but I am concerned about his Headgear. Then he asked me to take off my turban and unwrap it.

    I explained that it is my religious symbol and I can not unwrap because of my religious belief. There was Sikh Boy behind me who was clean shaven explained the officer that this is his religious symbol and he can not let him unwrap it. He also told the officer that he himself is in US Army. The security officer did not listened to him and rather warned him not to interfere in this matter. I asked him that I want to see your supervisor. He called his supervisor Mr. Charles Batch # 41971. He came
    and I requested him to let me go without unwrap the turban but he denied the clearance without taking it off and unwrap it. He offered to get it done in private room but I insisted not to take it off and not to unwrap it. Then he called the Airport Police. Two police officers immediately came and asked me either take off and unwrap the turban or leave the premises. They threatened to arrest me; I choose to leave the
    premises and came back to United Air Line’s Ticket counter to get my luggage back which I checked-in. The employee at the United Air Line counter told me that the luggage is already gone.

    It was still early morning and I was sitting right by the Air Line Counter, the same police officer came long with another police officer Mr. Loubert batch #113 and told me that he can give me second chance to let me through if alarm will not go off. But the second condition was that if security alarm will go off, then he will then detain me and I accepted that. Then I told him that alarm did not go off even at fist time
    either and it has been admitted by the TSA supervisor Mr. Charles as well. He said it could be misunderstanding and they will let me go this time; if there will be no beep or if alarm will not go off.

    Then at Officer Loubertâ's assurance, United Airline again issued me boarding pass for next flight #UA 379 for 7.47 a.m. from Buffalo to Sacramento via Chicago.I cleared the security check in front of Police officer Loubert and again there was no security beep at all. But TSA security officer still was not satisfied and wanted to check my turban and took me to the private room. He taped my turban and again told me to take off my turban and unwrap it. I refused to do that. Then by this time there were more than
    5 police officers. Police Officer Loubert along with other police officers ordered me leave the premises immediately. In the mean time a representative from United Airline came and informed me that my luggage is already gone and advised me to have some one pick it up from Sacramento airport.

    When the police was escorting me to bring me out, I saw Bhupinder Singh Bajwa who is resident of Toronto, Canada, and I made him aware of this episode. He requested the police officer to have their Police chief to talk to. With his request Lieutenant Burgio Batch # 10 came and he also invited TSA Supervisor Mr. Charles along with him. But Supervisor Charles said at point blank that he will not let him fly without taking off and unwrap the turban. In the mean time Mohinder Singh Dhillon, who is also Toronto, Canada resident, came there and inquired about this.

    Police at first started yelling at him and warned him but later on listened to him. At this point there came another Security person in plain dress and told us to leave the premises immediately and he said that at this point he will not let me fly at all and rather he will order to arrest if we do not leave the airport. I was so frustrated at this. I requested Mr. Bajwa to give a ride to Toronto so that I could fly from Toronto
    to Sacramento.

    I felt so humiliated and frustrated. I have been permanent resident of US and living in USA since June, 1996. It had never happened to me in the previous. I always felt proud to be an American till today. I am in Real Estate Business and deal with public all the time. I do not know and could not understand why it happened.

    I request all of the Sikh organizations, government bodies, US senators, Canadian MPs, department of homeland security and human right organizations to make awareness to TSA regarding the Religious Symbol Turban and its respect and take appropriate action so the this thing does not arise again against minorities.

    I am sending to all most all the organizations. I request all of you to email at tsa-contactcenter@dhs.gov and show your protest for me to TSA authority.
    Names and phone numbers of witnesses:
    Mohinder Singh Dhillon (416)-418-3453 or (905) 455-8873
    Bhupinder Singh Bajwa (905) 260-2578.


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