A Sikh youth in Italy has been fined €23,000 (`19.6 lakh) by a court here for not removing his kirpan. Manpreet Singh is disappointed with the court's decision and the offence to Sikhs.
The man from Tanda village in Punjab's Hoshiarpur district originally now lives at Vicentino in Vicenza province of Italy. On February 2, 2013, while working in the Italian city of Tarvisio, he was injured in a road accident and, at hospital, doctors asked him to remove the symbol of his faith.
Manpreet Singh explained to the doctors the importance of the kirpan and why he could not remove it, yet they called the police, who accused him of wearing an 18-centimetre-long Sri Sahib, more than what is allowed, and considering it a crime to keep weapons, registered a case under the Italian law.
He fought the case but on January 22, received a notice from the Tarvisio court that it had fined him €23,000, and if he did not pay, he would get a three-month jail sentence. He said the verdict had hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community.
A few months ago, the Italian government had dismissed a case about the registration of Sikhism officially. The point of the case was to allow Sikhs to wear kirpan at public places.