NYPD gets its first female turbaned Sikh police officer
Gursoach Kaur has become the first female turbaned Sikh auxiliary police officer (APO) in the New York Police Department (NYPD). Her induction into the NYPD is aimed at motivating other Sikhs to join, and to promote a better understanding of Sikhism in the US, which has seen instances of harassment against Sikhs and their turbans. Here's more.
Kaur's induction sees celebration in both home and abroad
Gursoach Kaur's induction into the NYPD was celebrated by the Sikh community in India and in the US. The Sikh Officers' Association, the only association in the US which represents Sikh officers in law enforcement, tweeted that it was "proud" to welcome Kaur among its ranks. Meanwhile, back at home, housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that he was "delighted".
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri celebrates Kaur's induction
Puri was detained despite having diplomatic immunity
Puri was referring to incidents involving harassment of Sikhs. In 2010, Puri, who was the Indian Ambassador to the UN then, was asked to take off his turban by officials at the Houston airport. When he refused, he was detained for 30 minutes in a 'holding room' till an official resolved the issue. India had lodged an official complaint with US authorities.
Canadian minister had to pass extra security checks for turban
More recently, in April 2017, the Canadian minister of innovation, science, and economic development, Navdeep Bains, was asked to remove his turban at the Detroit Metro airport. Bains was on his way back to Canada after meeting with Michigan state leaders, when the incident happened. Despite having passed all regular security checks, Bains was asked to go through extra checks because of his turban.
The NYPD has been taking steps to include more Sikhs
According to New York's police commissioner, James O'Neil, the NYPD had around 160 Sikh officers in service as of 2016. Back then, O'Neil had said that he was looking to add more Sikhs to the NYPD's ranks. Then, notably, in December 2016, the NYPD revised its uniform policy to allow Sikh officers to wear turbans and keep beards in a bid to promote inclusivity.Share this timeline