The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has taken exception to a baptised Sikh student being denied entry into an examination centre in Yamunanagar (Haryana) as he was wearing a ‘kirpan’ (ceremonial sword).
In a communique to Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar sought action against the examination centre incharge responsible for this incident.
In the communique, which was released to the media here on Monday, Makkar, while referring to media reports, said Harmanpreet Singh, a resident of Ambala, was not permitted initially to enter the exam centre at Maharaja Aggarsain College, Yamunanagar, last week. The student, a baptised Sikh, had gone there to appear in the written test for selection to posts of junior engineers (JEs) in a state government department.
“The exam centre incharge did not allow the student to enter the centre as he was wearing a ‘kirpan’. She insisted that he take off the ‘kirpan’ if he wished to take the exam,” Makkar wrote in the letter.
According to the SGPC chief, it was only after persuasion and intervention by Yamunanagar Sikhs that the student was allowed to enter the centre with the ‘kirpan’. The student lost 40 vital minutes due to this incident, he added.
Makkar further said, “If it (the incident) had occurred in another country it was understandable, but in our own country this is just not acceptable. Everyone here knows that the ‘kirpan’ is our religious symbol and it cannot be taken off by baptised Sikhs.”
He called upon Khattar to order an inquiry into the incident and then taken action against the examination centre incharge.