Sikh policeman awarded 10,000 pounds in turban caseOctober 3rd, 2009 - 6:49 pm ICT by IANS
London, Oct 3 (IANS) A Sikh policeman has been awarded 10,000 pounds by a British tribunal after he complained his religious sentiments were hurt by an order to remove his turban during riot-training.
Gurmeal Singh, a police constable in the force serving Greater Manchester in northwest England, was awarded the compensation by an employment tribunal after a three-week hearing Friday.
Singh, who joined Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in 2004, sued the force, alleging that a sergeant told him during a meeting to discuss the riot training: “Can you not take that thing off this is what you signed up for.”
He was also asked whether he could modify his turban.
Singh, 31, said he suffered panic attacks, stress and palpitations and was off sick over the issue during the long-running dispute.
The tribunal rejected most of his allegations but upheld a claim of indirect racial and religious discrimination, after he was included on a group email Feb 8 last year, telling officers that riot training was mandatory and he would therefore have to remove his turban.
Two months later he had an “unpleasant” meeting with his sergeant and went off sick the next day - the panel ruled the meeting amounted to harassment.
After the ruling Singh, who is still employed by GMP on ‘recuperative duties’, said: “I’m looking to return to work and see how GMP accommodate me.”
Julia Rogers, GMP’s assistant chief officer, said: “We felt we acted in the officer’s best interests, but accept the findings from this tribunal and have already updated the policies this relates to.”
She said the force would be working with the newly formed British Police Sikh Association in an effort to resolve any ongoing issues.
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Tags: allegations, british police, chief officer, employment tribunal, greater manchester police, harassment, london, northwest england, palpitations, panic attacks, police constable, policeman, religious discrimination, religious sentiments, riot, rogers, sergeant, stress, turban