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Reports About Ban on Kirpan by Karnataka Government triggers wave of Concern among Sikhs

September 14, 2017 | By

Bengaluru/ Chandigarh: News reports about Karnataka government imposing ban on carrying Kirpans in Bengaluru have triggered a wave of concern amongst the Sikh organisations. Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) and Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) has issued written statements condemning the move.

Notably, there were reports in media that the Karnataka government has imposed ban on carrying “swords, machetes, kirpans (religious symbol of the Sikhs) and kukris (traditional Nepali Gurkha knives)” in Bengaluru.

Image used for Representational Purpose only

Times of India (ToI) notes that: “On August 28, the government issued an order banning acquisition, possession and carrying of arms without licence, specified in category V of the schedule I of the Arms Rules of 2016, in public places under the jurisdiction of Bengaluru”.

The ToI  news reports quotes Additional chief secretary (home) Subash Chandra saying that there is no need for an exemption as Sikhs are protected under other state laws. However, former chief secretary Chiranjeevi Singh said the ban on kirpans will not hamper the community’s freedom to carry the swords.

A Bengaluru based IT professional told Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) that there was confusion amongst the local Sikh community in wake of these news reports. He said that the specific use of term “Kirpan” in these news is suspicious as this terms is generally used by the Sikhs and other communities in Bengaluru do not use it for swords. He opined that there was nothing to panic as any such order would be difficult to implement, given the well established and unchallenged Sikh practise of wearing Kirpans.

“The reports have been a cause of concern amongst the Sikhs in Bengaluru”, he added.

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