Norwegian Sikhs ask Solberg for exemptions from passport requirements

Several leading Norwegian Sikhs have sent a letter to Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H), requesting exceptions from the passport requirement.

For Solberg’s trip to India, among others, City Representative Prableen Kaur (Ap) in Oslo has written a letter requesting exemption from the passport regulations’ requirements for turban-bearing Sikhs.

– The Sikhs in Norway are proud and happy that you are going to India, and that your government has drawn up its own strategy for the cooperation between India and Norway, the letter states.

– It is still a challenge we have to address with you, and it is that Norwegian Sikhs with the turban are denied a passport. The requirement to show the ears on passport photos was introduced through the passport regulations in 2014, without it being sent for consultation, writes the Norwegian Sikhs.

The turban is a traditional headgear for Sikhs. The garment is mandatory for male Sikhs, but is optional for women.

– Most of all, we want this matter to be resolved through conversation and dialogue – not through the legal system – and hope you can look at this case, it says in the letter.

While the government negotiations are in progress, Solberg goes to India to meet the head of government in the world’s largest democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It will be the first official Norwegian Prime Minister’s visit to India since 2001.

(© NTB)

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