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United Sikhs objects to ban on wearing kirpan by airport staff

May 15, 2011 | By

Amritsar, Panjab (May 14, 2011): United Sikhs has called on the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), that provides security at all Indian airports, to revoke the ban on employees wearing a Kirpan at the airside at the Sri Guru Ramdas International Airport, Amritsar, because it violates their religious rights.

United Sikhs wrote on Friday to the Director General of CISF, N.R. Dass, to ask him revoke the ban that was enforced on 25th April 2011 at the Amritsar airport against all Kirpan wearing Sikhs who work at the airside.

“According to a Times of India report on Thursday, commandant Sharad Kumar said that CISF, on security grounds, had banned Nirmal Singh (and other 18 Kirpan wearing Sikh employees working at the airside of the Amritsar Airport) from wearing a Kirpan, which, an Amritdhari Sikh is mandated to wear at all times” adds the statement issued by United Sikhs.

“Nirmal Singh, 37, an Air India security staff who has been wearing the Kirpan whilst working at the Amritsar airport since 2001, told UNITED SIKHS, “There is no such ban at any other Indian airport and this ban at the Amritsar airport is unfair because it singles out Sikh employees as a security concern.” it further reads.

“The Sikhs shares the public’s security concerns, however, the ban of the Kirpan for airside employees at Amritsar airport is discriminatory because no such security threat is suspected for non Sikh airside security staff who carry weapons near the aircraft,” said Mejindarpal Kaur, United Sikhs legal director.

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