Two elderly Sikh men were stopped by staff and security at a store in Canada and told they could not enter with their kirpans. Harpal Gill, says in the 16 years he has lived in Canada, he has never been told to leave a store because of his kirpan, a ceremonial dagger carried by Sikhs.
“It is my religious symbol. How can you stop me?” Gill asked the manager of the Dollarama store.
“I showed her the kirpan and she said, ‘It is a weapon, a knife; it is dangerous,'” Gill was quoted as saying by CBC news.
Despite the fact the two have been in the store many times before, they were told to leave.
“It is allowed in the legislature, it is allowed in the federal government,” Gill added.
A spokesperson at the Dollarama head office said this is the first time there has been an issue in any of their stores across Canada.
Lila Radmanovich, who works for Dollarama’s media relations, said the company has a customer service policy that does not allow discrimination based on ethnicity or religion.
The company has reached out to the Manitoba Sikh Society and offered apologies to the men.
The company is now working with staff and security at the Winnipeg store to teach them the company’s policy, Radmanovich said.