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India Sikh Staff Barred From Wearing Kirpan At Airport: Gov't To Review Decision


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
AMRITSAR: Bureau of Civil Aviation Security of the ministry of civil aviation has sought details of all baptized Sikh airport employees across the nation who wear kirpan to take a policy decision on the issue on whether they can wear the kirpan at the airside of the airport.

Many airports allows baptized Sikh employees to wear the kirpan at the airside while others have imposed a ban.

The ministry swung into action after TOI's report on the issue. Central Industrial Security Force had prevented a baptized Sikh employee of Air India, Nirmal Singh, who was posted at Sri Guru Ram Das International Airport from working at the airside.

Following the ban on kirpan, various Sikh organizations, prominent among them Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and United Sikhs, raised objections on airport security force's decision and demanded the Prime Minister direct the force to revoke the orders since it had hurt the Sikh's religious sentiments.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Avtar Singh Makkar has now given one week time to the government to revoke the kirpan ban order or else the airport will be gheraoed.

Central Industrial Security Force commandant at Sri Guru Ram Das International Airport Sharad Kumar told TOI on Tuesday that he had sent a report on the issue and the force's security concerns at the the sensitive airport in Amristar.

"There is no clear rule on wearing of kirpan by Sikh employees as yet but now since the issue been raised at national level I am hopeful that there will be a policy decision by the ministry of civil aviation" he said.

He said since baptized Sikhs were allowed to wear kripan in domestic flights, on the basis of that assumption it could be construed that the inistry should allow Sikh employees to wear kirpan at the airside at domestic airports like Chandigarh, Shimla, Bhuntar etc. But at an international airports like Amritsar there was a common operational area so they needed clear cut instructions.