SGPC: Sikhs Can Carry Kirpans, But Not Unsheathed at Akal Takht Sahib

Teja Singh Samundri Hall; Headquarter of SGPC
Teja Singh Samundri Hall; Headquarter of SGPC

AMRITSAR SAHIB—Receiving flak from Sikhs around the world, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Wednesday made it clear that it had not imposed a ban on carrying kirpans (sword) at Sri Akal Takht Sahib on the anniversary of June 1984 holocaust.

The clarification comes a day after reports in a section of the media that the SGPC had banned 3 feet long kirpans at Sri Akal Takht in view of the clash between the SGPC task forces and Sikh youths on June 6.

In a statement, SGPC secretary Diljeet Singh Bedi said “any Sikh could visit Sri Akal Takht Sahib while wearing a kirpan.” He said it was the primary duty of the SGPC to maintain the “maryada” of the Takht Sahib. He said nobody would be allowed to unsheathe swords and resort to hooliganism at the holy shrine.

The SGPC move to ban kirpans had drawn a flack of Sikh organisations, who termed it as “anti-Panthik”.  SGPC member Bibi Kiranjot Kaur said that non-Amritdhari Sikhs should not be allowed to carry a 3 feet long kirpan at Sri Akal Takht Sahib but there should be no such ban on Amritdhari Sikhs.

Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said the step was “unprincipled, anti-Panthik and anti-tradition”. He said the community was astonished to learn that the SGPC chief had announced a ban on the religious symbol (kirpan) and that too at a religious place (Sri Akal Takht Sahib). “Makkar should apologize,” he said.

The All-India Sikh Students Federation (Peer Mohammed) chief, Karnail Singh Peer Mohammed, said the SGPC stand was unprincipled. He demanded that SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar should apologize to the Sikh community. “By making such an announcement, the SGPC is itself attacking the religious rights of the Sikhs.”


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