British Sikh man sues bank over insult to turban

Published: 01st October 2013 04:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st October 2013 04:49 PM   |  A+A-

A British Sikh man is suing the bank where he worked for race and religious discrimination after colleagues allegedly interfered with his turban and asked whether it "flashed red in an emergency".

Harminder Dhanota, an information technology manager, is claiming over 50,000 pounds in damages from the London-based bank. He told an employment tribunal here this week how his workmates would dislodge his turban or put a sticky note saying "Sign here" on the back without his knowledge.

"I have always taken pride in my religion and culture and find it upsetting and distressing when people mock, ridicule or disrespect my personal beliefs," the 42-year-old father of three told the Central London Employment Tribunal.

"At times, the physical assaults would be so aggressive as to cause my turban to loosen, which was the cause of significant distress to me," he said.

Dhanota, who worked in the IT department at the Mayfair office of Saudi bank Samba Financial Group in central London, claimed his boss Jack Tanna insulted his religion by showing him porn on a mobile phone, and asking him whether he was having sex with female colleagues.

Samba Financial Group strongly denied all the allegations and is contesting Dhanota's claim as the case continues.

Dhanota further said that Tanna allegedly boasted about organising prostitutes for "dirty Arab" business associates and would allegedly punch his arm, twist his fingers and hit him on the hand with a ruler.

"It is both shocking and ironic that such an ethnically diverse bank appears to condone such outrageous acts of bullying, harassment and discrimination," Jay Joshi, Dhanota's solicitor, told the Daily Telegraph.

Dhanota said after he began to complain vociferously about his mistreatment, he was sacked from his 37,500 pounds-a-year job on claims of poor performance.

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