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Admn order on kara, kirpan draws SGPC’s ire

School to amend directive, says Principal

Tribune News Service

Ropar, September 26

Sikh students have been banned to wear kirpan and kara in Shiwalik Public School run by the district administration in Ropar city. The school Principal, in her written orders, a copy of which is also available with The Tribune, said the students were not permitted to wear any such objects that may be sharp, including heavy karas and kirpans. The orders were sent to the parents of each student in the school.

The order said these things were strictly prohibited in the school. If any student was found wearing them, these would be impounded and the bearer would be fined Rs 500 besides disciplinary action.

Besides the kirpan and kara, other things which were banned, included mobile phone, gold and silver jewellery, cash, CDs and cassettes and also in driving to school on two-wheelers.

The SGPC has decided to launch an agitation against the decision of the school authorities. An SGPC member, Mr Gurinder Singh Gogi, said if the administration would not withdraw the circular issued by the school authorities, then the SGPC would launch a statewide agitation against it, he added. It was unfortunate the students of Punjab had to face such kind of discriminations.

The decision of the school authorities met with widespread resentment among parents of the Sikh students. On conditions of the anonymity they said that kara and kirpan were compulsory for a baptised Sikh. It was unfortunate the school run by the administration was hurting sentiments of Sikhs. They also decided to take up matter with the higher authorities.

When contacted the Principal of school, Ms Gurpreet Mathur, said that order was passed due to the safety of the students and not to hurt sentiments of Sikh community. As even in small dispute, the students could hurt each other with a kara and kirpan. She said tomorrow she would take necessary amendments in the order so that baptised Sikh students could carry things as per their religious beliefs.

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