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FIBA Asia Cup turban row: Delhi Congress writes to Sports minister

Thursday, 24 July 2014 - 10:01pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Angry over the episode in which two Sikh players were allegedly asked to remove their turbans at the recently-concluded FIBA Asia Cup in China, Delhi Congress on Thursday urged the Union Sports Minister to take up the matter with the International Basketball Federation.

In a letter to Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh said that the incident has hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikh community "not only in India, but all over the world".

"The Sikh community's achievements in the sports arena are legendary as they have brought many laurels to the country at international sporting contests. Sikhs were never prevented from competing with their turbans on, even at major sporting events such as the Olympics.

"It was indeed shocking and surprising that the Asia Cup organisers thought otherwise," Singh states in the letter.

He said that the Union minister should take up the matter strongly with International Basketball Federation and the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) so that the dignity and pride of the Sikh community was not compromised.

The two Sikh players -- Amritpal Singh and Amjyot Singh -- were stopped from entering the court and asked to remove their turbans minutes before India were to open their campaign against Japan on July 12 at the FIBA Asia Cup in Wuhan.

The sports ministry on Wednesday expressed "shock and outrage" over the incident and sought details from BFI, which is learnt to have already taken up the matter with basketball's international body. 

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