Sunday, August 20, 2017
facebook

google plus
Punjab

Posted at: Jun 19, 2017, 1:52 AM; last updated: Jun 19, 2017, 3:03 AM (IST)

Sikh man held for carrying kirpan

Sikh man held for carrying kirpan

Washington, June 18

A 33-year-old Sikh convert was handcuffed and arrested in the US for carrying a kirpan after a customer at a grocery store called police. Harpreet Singh Khalsa, who was born as Justin Smith, has worn the ceremonial knife known as a kirpan every day since he converted to Sikhism nine years ago.

Khalsa, who owns a catering business, was quoted by The Baltimore Sun as saying that he has been stopped multiple times by police, and was arrested again last week outside a grocery store in Catonsville, Maryland, after a customer called police.

Khalsa said he explained to the officers that the knife is part of his religion, but they frisked him, took the kirpan, placed him in handcuffs and drove him to the local precinct.

Khalsa was later released without charges, after police “confirmed that the knife was a kirpan and part of his religion, and not a threat to the community,” Baltimore County Officer Jennifer Peach was quoted as saying.

She said the department is providing education and guidance to its officers about Sikhs and their culture.

Stressing on the importance of the kirpan, Khalsa said, “We don’t consider it a knife, but a visual reminder to stand up to justice.” “The kirpan obligates a Sikh to the ideals of generosity, compassion and service to humanity,” Harsimran Kaur, legal director of the New York-based Sikh Coalition, was quoted as saying. — PTI

COMMENTS

All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On