Sikh Bobby felt like a TV character when told to wear a ` crash turban helmet’September 17th, 2009 - 2:48 pm ICT by ANI
London, Sep.17 (ANI): A Sikh policeman has revealed how he felt like a character from TV’s Only Fools And Horses when his bosses asked him to wear a “crash turban” helmet.
Police Constable Gurmeal Singh, 31, was asked to remove his turban by Greater Manchester Police, who told him that he had to wear a regulation force helmet.
But when chiefs suggested that he get a protective turban instead, Singh said it reminded him of an episode of the TV sitcom.
Millions watched the show as Del Boy Trotter, played by David Jason, took a delivery of 200 “crash turbans”, which he hoped to sell on to “motorbike-riding Sikhs throughout Peckham”.
Now, Singh says he is seeking 200,000 pounds in compensation for racial discrimination after being left “offended and humiliated”.
He told a Manchester employment hearing: “I am deeply offended. My turban is not an article of clothing, like a shirt or tie - it is part of me, a part of my religion, and I feel as though my religion and I have become an issue for GMP.
Singh said he had been a practising Sikh all his life. He has worn a turban - which is a strict requirement of his faith - since he was 15 years old.
He joined the force in 2003 as a Police Community Support Officer, but problems began when he was asked to go out on cycle patrols.He also said his promotion to a fully-fledged constable was delayed by 18 months after an assistant chief constable said he was concerned by the fact that Singh did not wear a badge on his turban - despite his claims that this would go against his religion.
The tribunal heard that Singh was off sick from April for three months but is now back at his post on light duties.
The Greater Manchester Police denies racial discrimination. The hearing continues. (ANI)
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