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A Sikh policeman who was ordered to remove his turban during riot training was awarded £10,000 compensation last week by an employment tribunal.

PC Gurmeal Singh, was dismissed after he objected to removing his turban on religious grounds.  Mr Sing had been with Greater Manchester Police since 2004.

Sing was awarded £3,500 compensation for indirect racial and religious discrimination and £6,500 compensation for harassment after suffering psychological damage, injury to feelings and personal injury.

During the tribunal it was revealed that he was told “Can you not take that thing off…this is what you signed up for.”  He was also asked whether or not he could modify his tuban.  Sing was claiming the compensation as a result of suffering panic attacks, stress and palpitations.  He was also off sick and was claiming compensation for loss of earnings.

The tribunal rejected 13 of his 15 allegations but the panel found that he suffered a single cause of indirect racial and religious discrimination, after he was included in a group email last year.  The email told officers that riot training was mandatory and he would therefore have to remove his turban.  The panel also ruled that an unpleasant meeting he had with his sergeant which resulted in him being off sick the next day, amounted to harassment.

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