Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) president and Ludhiana MLA, Simarjeet Singh Bains, has alleged that an ‘amritdhari’ (baptised) aide of his was asked to remove his small ‘kirpan’ at the US Embassy in New Delhi on Tuesday, alleging that this was an affront to his religious sentiments.
Addressing a press conference here this afternoon after his return from New Delhi, Bains said that he, along with his personal assistant, Jaswinder Singh Khalsa, had gone to the US Embassy in the morning for a visa interview. “The security staff there asked Khalsa to remove the small kirpan. Khalsa and I objected to this as this is a symbol of faith and not a weapon,” said Bains.
The MLA said that his PA chose not to appear for the visa interview and that he, himself, went inside the embassy and raised objections with the staff there. “This is racial bias. I told Embassy officials that we cannot tolerate this insult to Sikh religious symbols. We raise the issue of disrespect to turban and other articles of faith all over the world and here in our own country, baptised Sikhs are being put through this indignity. I took back my passport from the embassy officials saying I do not need a visa,” he said.
Bains said that he will be taking up the issue with Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker, Rana KP Singh, urging him to speak to the External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, regarding this issue. “I shall also be writing to the SGPC chief, the secretariat of the Akal Takht and the US Ambassador. I have also asked the overseas supporters of my party to take up the matter with their respective Senators,” said Bains.