‘Kirpan’ banned in Australian schools, Akal Takht fumes

SGPC shoots off letter to Centre seeking intervention

‘Kirpan’ banned in Australian schools, Akal Takht fumes

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 19

Akal Takht has asked the Australian government to revoke its decision of banning the ‘kirpan’ in government schools at New South Wales in Australia.

The SGPC has shot off a letter to the Union Ministry of External Affairs and the High Commissioner of India to Australia, seeking immediate intervention as the issue is related to Sikh sentiments.

Move after brawl

A 14-year-old Sikh student, who had been bullied in a Sydney school on May 6, used his ‘kirpan’ in defence and injured another student, leading to a ban on wearing it in public schools.

The ban on wearing ‘kirpan’ in public schools was to come into effect from today.

The ban was imposed following an incident at a Sydney school on May 6 when a 14-year-old Sikh student, who had been bullied in the school, used his kirpan in defence and injured another student.

Calling the ban “uncalled for” and criticising the Australian government for implementing it before having any community consultation, Akal Takht officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh said the decision of Aussie education minister Sarah Mitchell was an immature one.

“Sikh organisations should unite to fight for the identity of the Sikh symbols. The government should review its decision that has hurt the Sikh sentiments,” he said.

The jathedar had returned from abroad and visited the kin of former Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti who died recently.

SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur said, “Based on one incident, the sanctity of the community cannot be put at stake. The kirpan is sacrosanct to the Sikh community. It can never be equated with a knife or a dagger.” She said the education minister did not have any discussion with Sikh community leaders except for having an online meeting with two Sikh members, upon which a ban was imposed.

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