The president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara management committee (DSMC) Manjit Singh GK, along with a delegation accompanying him to Italy boarded a plane to Dubai early Thursday morning.
GK alongwith the delegation was returning after attending dastar (turban) awareness day in Cremona city of Italy organised on August 3, when he was stopped on way back at the Rome airport on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday for security check and was told to remove turban to which they refused.
After waiting at the airport for almost 24 hours, DSGMC delegation was allowed to leave the airport without being frisked and remove turban.
"We were just made to pass through metal detector," GK told HT over telephone from Dubai, adding that a protocol officer from Indian high commission in Italy came to the airport and arranged graceful exit from the airport.
Chief of security at the airport, according to GK also apologised for the inconvenience. It needs mention that union minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur took up the matter with India's high commission in Italy.
Other than GK, DSGMC's dharma parchar committee chairman Paramjit Singh Rana, and members Gurvinder Singh, Inderjeet Singh Gulati and Gurbachan Singh Cheema, along with another invitee Puneet Singh Chandok comprised the delegation. After attending a religious function in Dubai, the delegation is expected to return to India on Saturday.
Commenting on the incident GK said there have been many incidents at the airports in Italy when Sikhs were forced to remove turban. "I have travelled to a number of countries but I have never got such treatment," pointed GK adding that there was need to create awareness about turban, that it is integral part of a Sikh. The airport authorities thought turbans to be hats, due to lack of awareness.
"I am not against thorough check incase there is some suspicion, but all Sikhs wearing turbans can't be told to remove it," adds GK.