The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Wednesday said it will approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to challenge the Italian Supreme Court’s decision upholding the ban on Sikhs carrying kirpan (a ceremonial dagger) in public.
A Sikh migrant had appealed against a lower court’s decision ordering him to pay $2,195 (Rs1,40,700) for carrying a kirpan.
Addressing a press conference here, SGPC president Kirpal Singh Bandugar said that court decision is a matter of great concern and they have decided to file a petition in ICJ to the safeguard Sikhs’ rights to wear its religious symbol.
“In the petition, we will request ICJ to allow the Sikhs to wear their religious symbols across the world,” he said.
He said the SGPC has already taken up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to intervene in the matter and to take up it with the Italian counterpart.
He said the Italian court’s decision is against the basic tenets of Sikhism, which has a distinct identity because of special religious symbols, which Sikhs wore.
On the issue of alleged distortion of facts in Sikh Mahan Kosh, a Punjabi language encyclopedia, he said the matter is already in the high court. The SGPC will not tolerate any change in proven facts, which some Punjabi University employees had made while publishing the encyclopedia.
About the selection of new vice-chancellor of Sri Guru Granth Sahib University, Fatehgarh Sahib, Bandugar said a screening committee has been formed to shortlist Sikh academicians to take call on this. He said former chief secretary RS Mann will head the committee.
He said the SGPC has started activities by dividing the state into three parts to promote Sikhism.