Sensitive to Sikh community concerns, says Italy

    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Italy Thursday conveyed to India that it was sensitive to the concerns of the Sikh community in the wake of a controversy after a Sikh delegation was held up at Rome airport and members asked to remove their turbans.

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    The Sikh delegation, which included president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, had been stopped at Rome airport on Aug 6.

    After the Indian mission in Rome took up the matter, the Italian foreign office intervened with the Rome airport authorities and “facilitated the departure of the Sikh delegation without insisting on removing the turbans”.

    The delegation left for Dubai late Wednesday night through the VIP lounge, said official sources.

    Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini Thursday met Sudhir Vyas, secretary (West) in the ministry of external affairs in South Block during which the “sensitivity of the situation” was impressed on the Italian envoy, said the source.

    Mancini conveyed that there is a large Sikh population in Italy and the authorities there “are sensitive to the concerns of the Sikh community on such matters”.

    “He also mentioned that strict guidelines have been issued for officials to follow in such matters. He also assured that he would once again convey the sensitivity of the issue to the Italian authorities,” the sources said.