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Aug 29, 2008 at 11:41pm IST

UK cop says he lost out due to religious bias

London: A top ranking British police officer of Asian origin, Tarique Ghaffur has charged his boss, the Metropolitan police chief of racial, religious and age discrimination.

This high profile case may have a longer-term impact on ethnic minorities within the British police.

One of Britain's top ranking Asian police officers,Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur held a press conference in London.

Ghaffur has launched a damaging legal action against his boss, the Metropolitan police chief Sir Ian Blair.

Ghaffur claims he is facing racial, religious and age discrimination by Sir Ian.

He is also suing another senior officer, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Richard Bryan.

He says he was sidelined in his role of leading the security for London's forthcoming 2012 Olympic games.

"I object to the treatment I received at the highest levels of the Metropolitan, in particular the discrimination that I have been subject to over a long period of time by the present commissioner Sir Ian Blair.

Ghaffur says his case is against individuals and not against the organisation.

While he has denied seeking 'massive monetary benefits', but according to media reports, the figure could cross a million pounds.

Further, he also wants his contract to be extended beyond March 2009.

Dr Shahrokh Mireskandari, Ghaffur's Solicitor said, "We want an apology for the way he has been treated. We want that he is reinstated as the Olympic security chief and we want his contract to extend till 2012.

The Metropolitan Police have denied the allegations.

In a statement issued, the department said, "We do not accept the charges of discrimination against us and intend to robustly challenge them."

The Met has 28 days in which to respond to the claims.

The case is before the employment tribunal.

However the impact of this case will be long term. While this may encourage other ethnic minority officers who have allegedly received similar treatment to come forward, some fear that this might affect the relationship between the officers within the Met.

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