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US university permits Sikh students to wear Kirpan on campus: Report

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 20-11-2022 Kanishka Singharia

A prestigious United States university has decided that it will permit Sikh students to wear kirpans, one of the integral parts of five Sikh Kakars, on campus. The decision comes just two months after a Sikh student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte was allegedly detained on the campus for wearing a Kirpan.

The incident drew huge flak, as the video went viral on social media. It was initially shared by the student, who posted it on Twitter saying that the police had handcuffed him for refusing to let the officer remove his kirpan.

According to a PTI report, a statement was released by the University of North Carolina on Thursday, saying that students are allowed to carry kirpans on campus as long as the blade length is under 3 inches and the weapon is "always held close to the body in a sheath."

The statement released was signed by Chancellor Sharon L Gaber and Chief Diversity Officer Brandon L. Wolfe said the ruling was effective immediately.

“The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, with support from Institutional Integrity, also conducted additional awareness training this week with our police department and will continue its work to expand our cultural education and training opportunities for all of campus,” the statement said.

“Over the past several weeks, we have engaged in dialogue with representatives from the local and global Sikh communities about how we could modify University policies to honour the tenets of religious freedom while protecting the safety of our campus,” the statement further added.

The institution expressed gratitude to Sikh leaders, including nonprofit organisations The Sikh Coalition and the Global Sikh Council, who contributed expertise and insight to the policy change.

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