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Center allows Sikh employees, passengers to carry kirpan at airports

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Ministry of Civil Aviation on Monday, March 14, revoked the order which banned Sikh passengers and employees to carry Kripan at the airports. In a revised order, MoCA had removed the clause mentioned in its earlier order which stated that no employees at any domestic or international airport terminal be allowed to carry Kirpan in person.

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Taking to Twitter, BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa informed the same and wrote, “Recent order of @MoCA_GoI restricting Sikh Employees from carrying kirpan at the airport during duty has bn changed. The corrigendum removed the objectionable restriction. Employees (& passengers) can carry Kripan at Indian airports. Thanking @PMOIndia & @JM_Scindia Ji for swift action.

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According to the copy of the order, it said, “Kirpan may be carried by a Sikh passenger, provided the length of the blade doesn’t exceed 15.24 cms (6 inches) and total length of Kirpan doesn’t exceed 22.86 cms (9 inches). It is allowed while traveling on Indian aircraft within India operating from Domestic Terminals only,” read the statement released by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.”

Previously, the central government had issued another set of guidelines which mentioned that “no stakeholder or its employee at the airport (including Sikh) and working in any terminal, domestic or international, shall be allowed to carry Kirpan.”

The amendments in the order came after a Sikh employee wearing a ‘kirpan’ was stopped from performing duty at the Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport in Amritsar last week. Reacting to the incident, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Harjinder Singh Dhami raised an objection and wrote a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia to revoke the order.

In the letter, he had mentioned, “In their own country, this discrimination is a major attack on the religious freedom of the Sikhs, which will never be allowed to be implemented. The Centre should never forget that the Sikhs have remained at the forefront in making sacrifices for the freedom of this country and if the culture of the country survives today, it is because of the Sikhs”.

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