August 2, 2012 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Ludhiana/London (August 02, 2012): As per news reports, members of a Sikh family were denied entry to an Olympic football game in Coventry because the father was carrying a small Kirpan. A Kirpan is a cermonail sword that is an integral part of Sikh religion’s practise and is also considered to be vital part of Sikh identity.
Dalwinder Singh Sandhu was attending the games with his wife, children aged 6 and 4 and other family members and friends.
He is quoted to have said that “My father, wife and I are baptised Sikhs and we openly disclosed that we were carrying a small Kirpan under our clothes but we were still denied entry”.
The Sikh community wrote a letter to Lord Coe in March last year, asking if Sikh’s were allowed to carry Kirpan’s into games.
Lord Coe, Chairman London 2012 in a statement issued earlier this year told UK based Sikh leaders taht “At Games-time, small symbolic ceremonial daggers (an Article of Faith with a maximum blade length of 3 inches) carried for religious reasons will be allowed. We have worked closely with the Sikh community and the Metropolitan Police on our plans in this area, and published this statement on our website”.
Mr Singh says he was upset that he and his family were not allowed entry.
“Words cannot describe how upset my family and I are from being excluded from an Olympic event the we had been looking forward to for such a long time. The Olympics are supposed to be all about inclusion and embracing all nations and cultures. This obviously does not include the Sikh population” Dalwinder Singh Sandhu added.
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Related Topics: Kirpan, Kirpan Issue, London Olympics 2012, Sikh Diaspora, Sikh Identity