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Delhi gurdwara panel terms 'unfortunate' Italy's ban on kirpan

IANS  |  New Delhi 

The Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) on Tuesday termed as "unfortunate" the Italian Supreme upholding a ban on the 'kirpan' (Sikh sword) and said it will approach External Affairs Minister on the matter.

Reacting strongly to the Italian Supreme Court's decision to uphold the ban on kirpan, DSGMC General Secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa in a statement said: "We will take up issue with and urge her to take up this issue with Italian government."

Terming the court's decision as "most unfortunate", Sirsa said "DSGMC understands the situation where the courts of the concerned country are bound to take up the issues as per the law of the land prevalent in the country."

"Time has now come for the Indian government to play a bigger role to safeguard the interests of the Sikhs throughout the world by taking up with different countries the issue of articles of faith."

He also said that laws in some countries where carrying of articles of faith are banned "needs to be amended for achieving this".

The DSGMC's remarks came after the Italian Supreme ruled against a Sikh migrant who wanted to carry a kirpan in public.

The Italian had on Monday said migrants who choose to live in must respect Italian laws prohibiting the carrying of weapons even though Sikhs regard kirpan as sacred.

The DSGMC General Secretary also pointed out that it was for the Indian government to apprise these countries of the importance of the articles of faith including five Ks like Kirpan, Kara, Kangha, Kachera and Kes.

Sirsa said a high level delegation of the DSGMC will soon meet and apprise her on the need to take up the issue with the Italian government.

The Sikh man in the case was appealing against another court's decision ordering him to pay a 2,000 euro fine ($2,195) because he had been caught leaving his home in Goito, northern Italy, armed with a kirpan measuring nearly 20 cm, the Italian media reported.

The man had argued that his kirpan as well as his turban were symbols of his and wearing them was part of his religious duty.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 16 2017. 20:18 IST