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CISF bans ‘kirpan’ near aircraft
Published on 12 May. 2011 10:45 PM IST
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Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has banned the Sikh employees to wear ‘kirpan’, Sikh’s religious symbol, while performing their duties on airside at Sri Guru Ram Das International Airport. The force is entrusted with the task of airport security.
“Amritsar is one of the ultra sensitive international airports in the country and we can’t take chances with the security of passengers” said commandant of the Force, Sharad Kumar, while talking to TOI on Thrusday. He said Sikh employees were allowed to wear ‘kirpan’ in Airport terminal building and other places but not near the aircraft.
The issue came to fore after Central Industrial Security Force prevented an airport employee Nirmal Singh to work near the aircraft while wearing his ‘kirpan’. Nirmal Singh, a baptized Sikh, also lodged a complaint with Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Sikh’s single largest representative body, to take notice of this interference into the religious affairs of the Sikhs. He also said that he had been working at airport since 2001. “On April 28th, a security force constable prevented me to work near the aircraft on the plea that I was wearing a kirpan” he said.
Sharad Kumar made it clear that security was of paramount issue for them.
“It is not a religious but security issue” he insisted.
Meanwhile, showing its concern on the issue, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Avtar Singh Makkar demanded from government to immediately withdraw any such orders. “Kirpan is an essential part of Sikh’s dresscode and can’t be seprated from Sikhs” he said. He questioned if Sikh passangers could travel in the aircraft wearing six inch ‘kirpan’ then why an employee wearing it couldn’t work near the a aircraft. He said that all the 19 baptized Sikh employees of airport were under trememdous mental tension due to Force’s orders.

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