Decorated Sikh solider sues US Army for discrimination

The Sikh-American soldier alleged he is being subjected to “discriminatory” testing because of his religious beliefs

New York: In a first of its kind lawsuit, a decorated Sikh-American soldier has sued the US military, alleging that he is being subjected to “discriminatory” testing that no other soldier in the US Army goes through, because of his religious beliefs.

Captain Simratpal Singh (28) was in December last year granted a temporary religious accommodation to serve in the US Army while maintaining his Sikh turban, unshorn hair and beard. Pic/Sikh Coalition
Captain Simratpal Singh (28) was in December last year granted a temporary religious accommodation to serve in the US Army while maintaining his Sikh turban, unshorn hair and beard. Pic/Sikh Coalition

Captain Simratpal Singh (28) was in December last year granted a temporary religious accommodation to serve in the US Army while maintaining his Sikh turban, unshorn hair and beard.

The accommodation — a rare exception — was scheduled to remain in effect until March 31 but in an unprecedented step backward, the US Army recently ordered Singh to report yesterday for “extraordinary, non-standard additional testing as a precondition for remaining in the Army”, international law firm McDermott Will & Emery, representing Singh, said in a statement.

The firm, along with the Sikh Coalition and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, filed the federal lawsuit against the Department of Defence on behalf of Singh, who has earned a Bronze Star for clearing explosives from roads in Afghanistan, and received numerous other military accolades in various positions.

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