RSS seeks minister’s help in ‘kirpan at airports’ issue

RSSJalandhar: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Sikh wing Rashtriya Sikh Sangat (RSS) has apprised the Union civil aviation minister Mahesh Sharma that Amritdhari (baptised) Sikh officials and employees working at international airports were being stopped from wearing their kirpan (small sword) citing an international treaty about security.
It told the minister that Article 25 of Indian Constitution granted the right to Amritdhari Saikhs to carry their articles of faith and the Union government had not framed any law or rules barring kirpans.

A delegation of the Sangat, led by its president Gurcharan Singh Gill, met aviation minister Sharma on Monday and demanded his intervention in the issue. The delegation said kirpan-carrying Sikh officials and employees were being barred from wearing it on the basis of a international treaty. “We told the minister that the Article 25 of Indian Constitution gave the right to the Sikhs wear the kirpan. This issue was not just of sentiments of Sikhs but also of their fundamental right. Even after assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi there was no bar on Sikh officials or employees wearing this article of faith,” said a statement issued by RSS national secretary Avtar Singh Shastry.
“We were assured by the minister that he would speak to the security department of the civil aviation ministry to find a positive solution,” he said. The delegation of Rashtariya Sikh Sangat also included its general secretary (organization) Avinash Rai Jasiwal, vice-president Devinder Singh Gujral, cultural wing in-charge Harbhajan Singh Deol and its Delhi unit chief Mohinder Singh Bali.

Source: The Times of India