Sikh musicians removed from flight reach settlement

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US Airways apologise and pay compensation

AN American airline accused of racial profiling have issued an apology and paid compensation to three Indian musicians who were removed from a flight over a year ago.

Classical religious singers Davinder Singh, Gulbag Singh and Iqbal Singh filed a complaint with the Department of Transportation following the incident at Sacramento International Airport on 15 November.

The three men, who were wearing tradition Indian dress and turbans at the time of the incident, boarded a US Airways flight to Utah when they were ordered off.

The musicians said they were given no reasons for their removal and were forced to delay their travel until the next day.

Their case was supported by The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and New York-based United Sikhs who confirmed a settlement had been reached with the airline.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Jaspreet Singh, representing United Sikhs, said his clients have received an apology from the CEO of US Airways.

Mr Singh said: “Airlines must do everything they can to ensure their passengers’ rights to be free from discrimination. Flying with a turban is not a security threat.

“When airlines remove passengers solely because of how they look, they contribute to a climate of biased misinformation.”

He added to date the airline has failed to provide any legitimate security concerns justifying the removal of the men.

He said the removal was sparked by passengers’ and crew-members’ “fears of the musicians’ based on their ethnic and religious appearance.”

The settlement comes just two months after US Airways’ settled a federal lawsuit in which six Muslim religious leaders alleged that they had been removed from a flight based on their religious and ethnic backgrounds.

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