First for New Zealand; Sikh Police Officer Dons Turban on Duty

September 13, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Hindu

An India-born Sikh police officer has become the first in New Zealand to don a turban while on duty, breaking away from the tradition of the force.

Constable Jagmohan Malhi of the Nelson city in central New Zealand fulfilled his late father's dream by wearing a turban on duty, recently adopted by the police as part of the uniform.

Malhi, who grew up wearing a turban, had shaved off his beard and moustache "because of peer pressure", he said adding he also shaved his head three years ago when he graduated from police training college, the local media reported.

When Malhi's father, who wanted him to grow his hair again, died last year, he decided to fulfil his wish and launched his own personal campaign to have the protocols changed. The police hierarchy agreed too.

"It was his wish to see me in my turban as a police officer. So I thought I would make it happen," he was quoted as saying by 'The Nelson Mail'.