Rajasthan govt not acting against those hurting Sikh religious sentiment: Harsimrat

Chandigarh, July 1 (UNI) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Monday wrote to Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhajal Lal Sharma that the Sikh community was perturbed over his government not acting against examination staff who had hurt the religious sentiments of two baptised Sikh women.

The women were prevented from entering an examination centre in Jodhpur during the conduct of the Rajasthan Judicial Services examination on June 23.

Badal in the letter said the action of the examination staff had not only hurt the religious sentiments of the two baptised Sikh women and the community, but was also in violation of Article 25 of the Constitution which gives members of the Sikh religion the right to wear the Kakaars.

“This is a fundamental right and cannot be violated”, Badal asserted.

She also alleged the Sikh community was perturbed that the Rajasthan government had not taken any action in the matter despite appeals made to the CM by the Shiromani Akali Dal as well as the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the representative religious body of the community.

Giving details of the case, Badal said the two Sikh women, Bibi Armanjot Kaur and Bibi Lakhwinder Kaur, were barred from admission into the examination centre because they refused to remove their ‘kakar’ (Sikh religious symbol) kirpan.

She said later it was revealed that Lakhwinder Kaur was forced to remove her ‘kara’ and ‘kirpan’ in order to appear in the examination. “The examination staff was adamant on forcing the women to remove their Kakaar despite the fact thatthe women apprised them that they were an intrinsic part of their faith and were to be adorned throughout their life”.

She also claimed in the letter that the action was taken despite the Kakaar being not listed in the ‘prohibited list’.

“The examination staff presumed that they fell in the category of ‘extra items’ and treated them likewise”. Asserting that the Kakaars were not ‘extra items’ but an essential part of the daily wear of baptised Sikhs, Badal said.

“it is shocking that this incident has occurred in a state with a sizable Sikh population and where officials as well as examination staff is supposed to know about the Sikh articles of faith”.

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