Denmark Sikh Loses Kirpan Battle

October 28, 2006

Author: Ramaninder K Bhatia

Source: The Times of India

CHANDIGARH: In a major blow to the Sikh community's efforts to get their distinct identity recognised abroad along with their religious symbols, a Sikh youth in Denmark on Tuesday lost his right to wear a kirpan (dagger), one of the five religious symbols that a baptised Sikh is required to wear.

The youth, 31-year-old scientist Ripudaman Singh, represented his case in the high court after the lower courts had held him guilty of violating the country's weapon law and had ordered confiscation of the "knife" besides fining him DKK 3,000 (Denmark Kroners).

When Ripudaman had started contesting his case in 2004, he was declared an "ambassador of Sikhs" by the SGPC and was assisted by the Sikhs' mini- parliament in his legal fight in Denmark.

Akal Takht jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti had also written to the Denmak authorities about the case and had asked the SGPC to offer Ripudaman every possible help.

On Tuesday, while the court in Denmark held Ripudaman guilty of violating the weapon law and upheld the orders of confiscation of the "knife", it annulled the fine of DKK 3,000 (Denmark Kroners), his father GS Lamba said.

Jalandhar-based Lamba, who is a lawyer and also edits a Sikh journal "Sant Sipahi", said it was a setback for Ripudaman who as a baptised Sikh was not being allowed to wear his "kirpan".