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Global support for suspended Sikh girl

People from around the world back the girl, who is suspended from a school in London for wearing a kara, through a website.

world Updated: Nov 21, 2007 11:08 IST
Global support for suspended Sikh girl in Britain

As the issue involving a Sikh girl's suspension from a Welsh school for wearing a kara, a symbol of Sikhism, appeared headed for the courts, hundreds of people from around the world backed the girl through a website set up to support her.

Sarika Watkins-Singh, 14, of mixed Welsh-Punjabi parentage, has been suspended three times from the Aberdare Girls School for wearing the kara. The school says that wearing it goes against its code, which only allows watches and stud-earrings.

Human rights organisation Liberty, which is directed by Shami Chakrabarti, has taken up Sarika's case. It is arguing that by excluding Sarika, the school's governing body has violated violating the Race Relations Act 1976, the Equality Act 2006 and the Human Rights Act 1998.

Angry, passionate messages against the school authorities have been left by visitors on the website www.supportsarika.co.uk. The website features press and video coverage of the case that has hit the headlines across Britain and elsewhere.

Anna Fairclough, Liberty's legal officer representing the Singhs, said: "The governing body of the school has ignored established race and equality protections and shamefully turned a young woman into a pariah by isolating her.

"Legal precedents established 25 years ago make clear that she should be allowed to wear the kara without being intimidated by the school."