Banned from entering courthouse wearing ceremonial dagger
Banned from entering the Calgary courthouse wearing a Sikh ceremonial dagger, Tejinder Singh Sidhu is calling on the province to adopt a court-security policy that respects religious freedoms and traditions.
The 25-year-old arrived at court Monday to testify as a Crown witness to a fatal crash.
When he reached the metal detector, a court sheriff told him he had to remove his three-inch long kirpan -- one of five articles of faith baptized Sikhs wear at all times.
Sidhu said he hasn't taken off his kirpan since he received it at his baptism as a child.
"It just seems very derogatory... and it's seen as being very offensive," he said.
"This is something that we keep on us at all times ... I bathe with it, I sleep with it."
After Sidhu's suggestion a sheriff to escort him to and from the courtroom was rejected, he left without testifying....
Andy Weiler, spokesman for the Alberta solicitor general, said the sheriff was following policy.
"Our policy clearly states that kirpans are an unauthorized item that are not permitted in the courthouse," he said. [Link]
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