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United Sikhs United Sikhs Want Ban On Wearing Kirpan By Airport Staff Revoked


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
United Sikhs Want Ban on Wearing Kirpan by Airport Staff Revoked

AMRITSAR: United Sikhs, an international UN affiliated advocacy non government organization, has sought the intervention of the director general of Central Industrial Security Force, N R Dass, to revoke the ban on the wearing of the kirpan by airport employees at the airside of the Sri Guru Ramdas International Airport.

The Times of India on Thursday had highlighted the ban imposed by the security force on Sikh employees wearing a kirpan while performing their duties at the airside.

Director of United Sikhs, Mejindarpal Kaur, told TOI on Friday that the Sikh community understood the public's concern with national security.

"However, we cannot accept an abrogation of a Sikh's constitutional right under article 25 (2) (b) of the Indian constitution, under which a Sikh has a right to wear a kirpan at all times," she said.

She said that this right was reflected in the ministry of civil aviation's circular no.8/99 dated 28.4.99 (annexure-II) which even allows Sikh passengers to carry kirpan with them on board domestic flights.

"If a Sikh passenger does not pose a security threat wearing a kirpan in an aircraft it is hard to believe that a Sikh employee poses a greater security threat after undergoing more rigorous security clearance," she pointed out.

She also said that in the UK, Sikh airport employees were permitted to wear the kirpan at the airside.

She said even statistics did not favour central security force's decision to ban the kirpan.

"There are more than 100 kirpan-wearing Sikhs who work at the airside of the Heathrow Airport. However, we are informed that there are only some 19 kirpan-wearing Sikhs who work at the airside at the Amritsar airport" said she.

She asked the director general of the force to revoke the ban. "We ask you to reassure us that Amritdhari Sikhs who are airside employees will not be banned from wearing their Kirpan at any Indian airport" she said.

The United Sikh director also sought a meeting with the director general of the force to discuss the issue further.




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