Sikhs can now carry kirpans at Indian airports

Sikhs can now carry kirpans at Indian airports
Share This:

Bureau of Civil Aviation Security {BCAS} has in a new order permitted Sikh aviation sector employees to carry the kirpan within airport premises.While allowing Sikh passengers to carry the kirpan of 9-inch total length in domestic flights, The latest order has come after an earlier 4 March order by the Ministry of Civil Aviation {MoCA} was met with severe criticism from Sikh body Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee {SGPC}.

In the 4 March order, the BCAS said, “Kirpan may be carried only by a Sikh passenger, on his person, provided the length of the blade does not exceed six inches and the total length does not exceed nine inches”.

“This exception shall be for Sikh passengers only as stated above. And, no stakeholder or its employee at airport (including Sikh) and working in any terminal, domestic or international, shall be allowed to carry Kirpan on person,” it added.

The agency issued a corrigendum to the 4 March order, in which it said, “Kirpan may be carried by a Sikh passenger provided the length of its blade does not exceed 15.24 cms (6 inches) and the total length of the kirpan does not exceed 22.86 cms (9 inches). It is allowed while travelling by air on Indian aircraft within India (domestic routes of fully domestic flights only).”

It drops the earlier clause that prohibited Sikh employees from wearing a kirpan.

BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa tweeted while thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia for taking “swift action”.