DUBAI, UAE—Harinderpal Singh, a young Sikh male from Karnataka in India, was victimised by airport security staff at Dubai International Airport two days ago, when he was asked to have his dastar (turban) physically man-handled to complete checks.
Interestingly, even in the current world climate where countries like USA and UK are currently operating at heightened threat readiness levels of ‘severe’, turban screenings at airports are still being conducted with non-invasive techniques.
Singh was stopped during the security clearance process to conduct further searches. When he remonstrated against the security officer’s attempts to place his hands on his turban, demands were made that he remove his kara (iron bracelet) and allow the manual search of the turban.
Singh politely refused and requested a swab or a wand to be used, as per the methods of international airports worldwide. He was then taken aside and left unattended while the time of his connecting flight was looming.
After demanding a supervisor, the staff continued to spout the rigidity of their rules and failed to show awareness of the modern practices that security staff throughout the world now adopt. They threatened to place Harinderpal in jail but he remain undeterred.
Eventually Harinderpal was taken to a room where detectors were used and then he was released to go when the scan result proved clear.
Having travelled to the USA and to the UK, Harinderpal has never been subjected to this level of harassment before and felt that nobody else should have to experience unacceptable levels of intrusion that he was exposed to.