Sikh student ordered off train for wearing 'kirpan'
The victim, an Indo-Canadian, is planning to approach a state human rights commission against rail network's action.india Updated: Oct 29, 2005 12:27 IST
A Sikh student was ordered off a Canadian train for wearing a 'kirpan' and is planning to approach a state human rights commission against the rail network's action.
Balpreet Singh, 24, was asked to disembark from a Via Rail train on Friday as he was about to travel home to Toronto after a passenger complained about his 'kirpan', public broadcaster CBC News reported.
"To be led off a train that's filled...Absolutely humiliating," said the first-year law student at the University of Ottawa.
"This is essentially one of the signs of the Sikh faith," CBC quoted him as saying.
"I consider that one of my fundamental freedoms...(and my) freedom of religion is being infringed," he said.
Singh said he was also considering taking the railway network to the Ontario Human Rights Commission for not allowing him to wear the 'kirpan' on its train.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister's parliamentary secretary Navdeep Bains has expressed disappointment at the incident and said he plans to take up the issue with the Transport Minister and with the network's board of directors.
Sikhs in Canada are also fighting the Government's decision to make mandatory the wearing of hard hats while on job, which they say goes against their custom of wearing the turban.