Lawsuit Filed Over Disrespectful Treatment of Sikh Prisoner

December 1, 2005

Source: India Abroad

On December 1, 2005 India Abroad reported, "A lawsuit has been filed in a federal court in Manhattan to enforce the religious freedom of a Sikh prisoner who has been on a liquid diet since June to protest alleged rights violations. The lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, stems from the violation of religious rights of Navdeep Singh, a devout Amritdari Sikh, who started serving a five-year sentence in Fishkill Correctional Facility in New York [in] January. The lawsuit alleges that Fishkill personnel repeatedly tormented Singh with their disrespectful handling of religious scriptures with unclean hands and deliberate destruction of the texts by bending and tearing the Sikh Holy Scriptures. Singh, according to Manwinder Singh, director for International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy of United Sikhs, was put in solitary confinement for refusing to shave his beard [and] his religious articles were confiscated... Along with the Commissioner Glenn S. Goord of DOCS and the acting superintendent of Fishkill Correctional Facility, who are sued for injunctive relief to end the discrimination, the complaint seeks injunctive relief and damages from 15 other prison officials of Fishkill."