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Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal demands to take up turban issue with Canadian

Press Trust of India
Aug 23, 2013 at 06:36pm IST

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, on Friday, asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up the issue of Quebec province's move to impose a ban on wearing turban (head gear) and sporting kirpan (dagger) by Sikhs with the Canadian government immediately.

The Union government should intervene in the matter at the earliest to safegurad the rights and interests of Sikhs, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief said in a statement here.

The Quebec province's move to impose a ban on wearing turban and sporting kirpan by Sikhs and head gear by Muslims and Jews at public places, schools, colleges and religious places was intended to target the minorities, he said.

Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal demands to take up turban issue with Canadian

Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal demands to take up turban issue with Canadian

"This is unfortunate and cannot be accepted at any cost," Badal said.

Moreover, the move was against religious rights of the Sikhs in Canada where in many provinces their mother tongue Punjabi had been accorded the status of second language, he said.

A delegation of SAD MPs would soon call on the Prime Minister and External Affairs minister Salman Khurshid in this regard, the SAD president said.

The Prime Minister, who himself is a Sikh, should take up the isssue with his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper who recently visited Punjab and paid obeisance at Sri Anandpur Sahib, Badal said.

Harper was well-aware about the rich cultural and religious heritage of the Sikhs and his party would also write to Punjabi MPs in Canada to bring the issue to his knowledge, the Deputy Chief Minister said.

The Quebec province's move was the result of the Congress-led UPA government's "failure" in forcing the French government to lift the ban on Sikh students on wearing turban in schools, the Junior Badal said.

The SAD had requested the Prime Minister to raise this issue strongly during the visit of the French President to India, he said.

Instead of forcing the French government to revoke this undemocratic decision, the UPA regime rewarded it with multi-billion defence orders, Badal alleged.

The intention of the French-dominated Quebec province was to replicate the decision of France after watching the "total failure" of the Indian government on the matter, he said.

The SAD would soon organise a protest at the Canadian Consulate opposing the proposal and handover a memorandum to the country's Ambassador in this connection, Badal said.

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