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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Discrimination against Sikhs in Modi government; Difficulty opening bank accounts

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Lahore: Looking at the strict policies of the Modi government against Muslims and Sikhs in the neighboring country India, cases of discrimination against Sikhs have also started to appear in Indian private institutions.

A Sikh citizen who came to update his bank account in a private bank in the Indian state of Bangalore was instructed by the bank staff to remove his turban and was mistreated. The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee has condemned discrimination against Sikhs in India. While the Shiromani Committee has condemned this discrimination against Sikhs and demanded action against the bank staff.

Parmeet Singh, an Indian Sikh resident of Karnataka, has written a letter to the CEO of Bank of Baroda stating that he went to open a bank account at the Alsur branch of the said bank in Bangalore. The bank manager gave him his bank record. Sent to bank employee Mr. Ramesh to get updated but Mr. Ramesh asked me to remove turban and keep out of bank, it was insulting to me and hurt religious sentiments.

Parmeet Singh further wrote that he repeatedly told Ramesh that the turban was very important to him and he could not take it off, but he threatened that my bank account would not be updated until he removed the turban and kept it out of the bank.

According to Parmeet Singh, a Sikh citizen, even after I explained to him about the turban and the constitutional rights of a Sikh, he continued to misbehave and speak against religious belief and told me to wear my turban outside the bank premises. Let me put it in front, which is against the law. He was speaking against Sikhism and repeatedly hurt my religious sentiments.

He has also written that he brought the matter to the notice of the branch manager and even after many discussions he was not willing to do the work of updating Aadhaar and was using offensive words against Sikhism. According to Parmeet Singh, despite his protest and request, no action has been taken against the accused by Bangalore Police and higher authorities.

The Shiromani Committee, the largest representative body of Sikhs in India, has said that such discrimination against a Sikh citizen cannot be tolerated as the Constitution of India protects the right to religious freedom. Strict action should be taken against the accused official for such action. From the incident, it seems that the accused official has hatred towards Sikhs.

Such persons are not eligible to hold public dealing positions. Bank of Baroda should ensure that citizens are not discriminated against in their workplaces. Apart from this, the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee has also condemned the growing discrimination against Sikhs and Muslims in India.

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