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Sikh wrestler not allowed to compete with ‘Patka’ on in Turkey seeks intervention of sports ministry

Jaskaran claimed he had played many national matches and had never been asked to remove the ‘Patka’.

punjab Updated: Aug 09, 2018 10:47 IST
Anil Sharma
Anil Sharma
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Sikh,Sikh wrestler,Turkey
Jaskanwar Singh Gill(HT Photo)

A week after he returned from an international amateur wrestling event in Turkey, where he was not allowed to compete wearing the Sikh headgear of ‘Patka’, Tarn Taran resident, Jaskanwar Singh Gill, has sought the intervention of the Union ministry of sports.

Gill, aka Pehalwan Jassa Patti, had failed to make his international debut after the organisers, the United World Wrestling (UWW), disallowed him to take to the mat wearing a ‘Patka’.

Gill told HT, “The ministry should send a notice and ask the UWW that why it did not allow me to compete. International wrestling rules allow players to wear headgear that does not cause harm to opponents during bouts. On July 28, the referees refused to allow me to contest with a ‘Patka’ on and asked me to tie my hair. I refused. I want to fight this discrimination.”

Gill, a constable with the Punjab Police, said, he and the team coach of the Indian wrestling team, Jagminder Singh, made several requests to officials to allow him to compete, but in vain. “I was the only Sikh player in the team of 25. I returned with the team on July 31.”

‘Unprecedented’

Jaskaran claimed he had played many national matches and had never been asked to remove the ‘Patka’. “I am a bronze medallist at the national games and a gold medal winner at the All-India Interuniversity Championship.”

Jaskaran’s father Salwinder Singh, also a famed wrestler, said, “This is the first time that I have heard of such an incident. Referees there asked my son to tie his hair. It is not possible for a male wrestler to perform with hair tied.” He added that the Centre must take up the issue with the UWW to avoid similar incidents in the future.

After the incident, Union minister for youth affairs and sports, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, had said that the government would look into the matter.

First Published: Aug 09, 2018 10:36 IST