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SGPC opposes expulsion of Sikh boys in France

Source: PTI
December 18, 2004 15:21 IST
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Expressing concern over the expulsion of three Sikh boys by French authorities over the turban issue, Shiromani  Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee on Saturday said it would approach the United Nations on the matter.

"The expulsions came as a shock to us. The ban on turbans by French authorities is not justified and has caused pain and agony to Sikhs all across the world. We will be sending a delegation to make the authorities realise that giving up a turban for a devout Sikh is like taking out life from him," SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur said.

She said the delegation would be sent after December 23.

Forty-three students, including three Sikh boys, were expelled from schools in France on Friday after they refused to comply with a new law outlawing religious insignia in state-run educational institutions, media reports said.

Asked if more countries would come out with similar laws, she said "it will be very very dangerous. The turban for a Sikh is not a mere decorative headgear. For the devout Sikh, it is an inseparable part of his identity".

The SGPC, considered to be a "mini parliament" of Sikhs, had already taken up the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh, she said.

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