The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhik Committee (SGPC) has sought punishment against the authorities/management of a Kota based college in Rajasthan that had debarred a 'amritdhari' (baptized) Sikh student from taking a written entrance test for admission into a medical course being run by the institution as he was wearing a 'kirpan' (small sword).
In a letter addressed to the District Magistrate (DM) of Kota, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar on Thursday sought an inquiry into the incident involving Jagwinder Singh, a baptized Sikh student. The authorities did not permit him entry on security grounds after he refused to take off the 'kirpan' , one of the five symbols worn by baptized Sikhs.
" An inquiry followed by strict action against the principal and other authorities of the college is the need of the hour as the case is a clear infringement on the constitutional and fundamental right of worship of religion of the student. It has not only hurt the sentiments of the student and his parents but also of the Sikh community", the letter to the DM stated.
In a separate letter addressed to the college principal, Makkar has sought an unconditional apology for hurting religious sentiments of the student. He has also demanded that the college authorities make arrangements for taking the entrance exam of the student.
In the two letters, Makkar explained the importance of the Sikh religious symbols including the 'kirpan'. He pointed out that it was rather strange that such an incident should have happened in India and at a time when a number of countries had started taking liberal views and were permitting the wearing of the 'kirpan' in public places and at places of work.
Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Gurbachan Singh too has expressed serious concern of such an incident occurring in the country. He too pointed out that this was a clear violation of the religious rights of a person.
The Jathedar too has demanded action against the concerned college authorities. He has also demanded that the principal of the institute tender an apology to the student and his parents and make arrangements for taking his exams so that he does not waste an year.