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Sikh candidates for AIPMT forced to take off ‘kara’ and ‘kirpan’ for exam

July 26, 2015 | By

Chandigarh: The organizers of All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) forced Sikh students in Punjab, Chandigarh and Jaipur to remove Kara and Kirpan before entering the examination centre. The move has upset the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (DSGMC) and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC). Both Sikh bodies have reportedly decided to move to Indian courts against the controversial move ofCentral Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) which offends Sikhs’ right to wear their religious symbols.

A Times of India (TOI) news report notes that three Amritdhari Sikh students were not allowed to enter the examination centre at Kendriya Vidyalaya in Bathinda as they were wearing a `kirpan’ and a `kara’ by the security men.

The Sikh Kirpan - an article of faith [File Photo]

The Sikh Kirpan – an article of faith [File Photo]

“AIPMT candidate Dharamvir Singh’s father Joga Singh argued with the security personnel over this for 20 minutes, but the boy was allowed in only after he removed his `kirpan’ and a `kara’. “I have informed SGPC officials about this,“ the boy’s father said. Two girls Gurpreet Kaurand Harsimrat Kaur too had to leave their articles of faith before taking the exam”, notes TOI.

In Chandigarh’s Sector-47 Kendriya Vidyalaya, Karanbir Singh from Patiala was asked to remove his ‘kara’ and `sword’. The youth’s father, Jarnail Singh, a head constable with Punjab Police, said, “I wanted to lodge a complaint but didn’t as my son was getting late for the exam. He finally handed over the articles to me.“

The officer on special duty (OSD), CBSE, Delhi, Sanyam Bhardwaj said, “We had issued written instructions for specific candidates to reach at the examination centre half an hour before the actual reporting time so that they can enter after thorough frisking along with their sacred objects. The reporting time was 9.30 am.“

However, Jarnail Singh claimed that his son reached the examination centre at 8.30 am. Jarnail claimed that his son was even asked to remove his turban but the staff members backed off when some other people supported him.

SGPC additional secretary Daljit Singh Bedi said, “The 5 “K’s” are an integral part of Sikhs and their dress. We are already fighting a battle for the right to wear our religious symbols outside our country and it is worrisome that Sikhs have to face all this here”.

DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK said they would to legally challenge the decision of a Jaipur school to not let a baptized Sikh student Jagjit Singh enter the AIPMT exam centre until he had taken off his `kara’ and `kirpan’.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had announced a strict dress code after the SC had asked it to re conduct AIPMT following complaints of some candidates using devices hidden under their garments for copy ing. The new dress code barred students from wearing full-sleeved shirts, sporting a metallic item like earrings, nose rings and shoes, among a long not-wear list.

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