UK - Devout Sikh Sues His Former Bank: Colleagues Interfered With His Turban, Asked If It Flashed Red In | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
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UK Devout Sikh Sues His Former Bank: Colleagues Interfered With His Turban, Asked If It Flashed Red In


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Devout Sikh sues his former bank for more than £50,000 'after colleagues interfered with his turban and asked if it flashed red in an emergency'
  • Harminder Dhanota, 42, claims workmates at Samba Financial Services would regularly mock his religion and interfere with his turban
  • Says boss Jack Tanna showed him porn on a mobile phone and boasted about organising prostitutes for his 'dirty Arab' business associates
  • Mr Tanna was also verbally and physically abusive, father-of-three claims
  • Mr Dhanota was eventually fired from £37,500-a-year job in October last year after complaining to HR about staff conduct towards him
  • Case continues at Central London Tribunal Court

By Lizzie Edmonds

A devout Sikh is suing his former bank for over £50,000 after colleagues allegedly interfered with his turban and asked him whether it 'flashed red in an emergency'.

Harminder Dhanota, 42, claims he was verbally and physically abused by work colleagues at the London office of Saudi Arabia-based bank Samba Financial Services.

He claims that workmates would dislodge his turban and put a sticky note saying ‘Sign here’ on the back of it when he was not looking.

Mr Dhanota told a tribunal that his boss Jack Tanna also insulted his religion by showing him porn on a mobile phone and boasted about organising prostitutes for his 'dirty Arab' business associates.

Married father-of-three Mr Dhanota said that Mr Tanna also offended him by asking him whether he was 'shagging' female colleagues.

Mr Tanna would also allegedly punch his arm, twist his fingers and whack him on the hand with a ruler, making him cry out in pain.

Mr Dhanota says that after he began to complain about his mistreatment, he was axed from his £37,500-a-year job in October last year on grounds of poor performance.

The IT manager of Chadwell Heath, Essex, is suing the bank for race and religious discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation.

He is seeking £56,825 for loss of earnings and injury to feelings.

Giving evidence today at Central London Employment Tribunal, Mr Dhanota told how he joined the bank in July 2011 after working in IT for 15 years.

Mr Dhanota, who is British but of Indian origin, said: 'I have always taken pride in my religion and culture and find it upsetting and distressing when people mock, ridicule or disrespect my personal beliefs.'

Mr Dhanota said that in January 2012, he 'politely reminded' Mr Tanna that he was a Sikh and found his constant abuse offensive and reported him in confidence to HR.

He said that his objections only spurred Mr Tanna on to humiliate him further in front of colleagues.

In April 2012, Mr Tanna began to launch unprovoked physical attacks, Mr Dhanota told the tribunal.

He said: 'The violent conduct was more or less continuous. This included punching, wrestling and finger twisting.'

'At times, the physical assaults would be so aggressive as to cause my turban to loosen, which was the cause of significant distress to me.'

  • Accusations: Mr Dhanota says that staff at Samba Financial Services, Mayfair, pictured, mocked his religion
  • Refuted: The company deny all of Mr Dhanota's claims in the case held at the Central London Employment Tribunal

Mr Dhanota, who is now deputy head of IT for an NHS Trust, added: 'On one occasion, Jack Tanna showed me explicit pornographic images on his mobile phone, which he knew to be offensive to me by virtue of my religious beliefs and it was clear he found it amusing when I was shocked and offended.

'He would often boast about organising prostitutes and sexual gatherings for his Saudi counterparts, referring to them as ‘dirty Arabs’, which I also found very offensive.'

In October 2012, another manager, Prakash Kale, allegedly asked Mr Dhanota ‘Will your turban flash red in the event of an emergency?’

The same month, a third senior manager, Bhupendra Bharakda, left Mr Dhanota 'mortified' by placing a sticky note saying ‘Sign here’ on the back of his turban.

Mr Dhanota's solicitor Jay Joshi, of law firm Judge Sykes Frixou, said: 'It is both shocking and ironic that such an ethnically diverse bank appears to condone such outrageous acts of bullying, harassment and discrimination.'

Samba Financial Group strongly denies all Mr Dhanota’s allegations and is vigorously contesting his claim. The case continues.

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May 9, 2006
You know the article's headline is wrong when I had to stifle a LOL... In fact it's a rather offensive title given the rest of the article, making a mockery of the other issues. No one should have to put up with any physical rough-housing at the workplace no matter how petty - it's an invasion of personal space.

The article reads as if it's written with bias.


Aug 29, 2013
Two of those, Prakash and Bhupendra sound like hindu names !
Do hindus not know about sikhs and turbans ? We're not alien culture to them ?
then why this hatred ? SHAMEFUL !


Sep 26, 2016
How awful for this human being.
All and any discrimination and harassment must be dealt with appropriately, and strongly condemned. We must all strive towards tolerance.
Ignorance is rampant.
Weakness in character, where so many people witness and join in on the hate, is disgraceful.

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ਖੁਰਾਸਾਨ ਖਸਮਾਨਾ ਕੀਆ ਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨੁ...

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