Akali Dal, SGPC upset at Italy Supreme Court ruling on ‘kirpan’

The Shiromani Akali Dal and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Tuesday expressed anguish over the Italian Supreme Court upholding a ban on wearing of ‘kirpan’ and plan to raise the issue at appropriate platforms to ensure “justice” to Sikhs settled in Italy.

In a statement here, Akali Dal secretary and spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said the Italian court has “ignored” the fact that carrying of ‘kirpan’ is essential and a mandatory part of religious code of conduct of an ‘Amritdhari’ (baptized) Sikh.

“It is a question of faith and a fundamental right of a Sikh. Banning of ‘kirpan’ means that no ‘Amritdhari Sikh’ will be able to live in Italy after this order,” Cheema pointed out.

Cheema said the Akali Dal and SGPC would raise this issue at appropriate platforms to ensure “justice” to Sikhs settled in Italy.

“The party will also take up of the matter with the External Affairs Ministry and urge them to take up this matter with the Italian government at the earliest,” Cheema said.

The Akali Dal expressed deep concern and anguish over the decision of the Italian Supreme Court upholding a ban on wearing of ‘kirpan’, a small sword-like weapon considered a Sikh religious symbol, on the pretext of public safety.

“The decision of the Italian Supreme Court has shaken the Sikh community the world over,” Cheema added.

Italy has a large number of immigrants from India, especially Sikhs from Punjab.

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