In a horrific incident in the United States, a Sikh student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte was arrested on campus for wearing a long skirt.
The incident was first made public when the student uploaded a video of the incident to Twitter and said police handcuffed him because he refused to let police remove his kirpan from the miyaan.
In the video’s caption, he described his pain: “I didn’t mean to post this, but I don’t think I’ll get any support from @unccharlotte. I’ve been told that someone called 911 and reported me, and refused Let the police take my kirpan from miyaan and get tied up “resist”.
Despite numerous global campaigns to create awareness about Sikh Kakaars, it’s disheartening to see the Campus Police at University of North Carolina detain a Sikh youth for his Kirpan. I condemn the discriminatory attitude of University authorities towards Sikh students. @UNC pic.twitter.com/10UkIZ3WT8
— Manjinder Singh Sirsa (@mssirsa) September 24, 2022
The video has accumulated over 21,00,000 views, over 56,000 likes and multiple comments. Social media users reacted violently to the way police treated college students.
One disgruntled social media user wrote, “Very unfortunate that you were arrested without provocation or threats. Many Americans legally carry small handguns in their holsters and they will not be arrested. I hope the complaint is dismissed and the apology is wrong.” Another user wrote: “This needs to be investigated, and officials need to be reprimanded and trained to understand the legality of baptized Sikhs wearing religious objects. It has never been Haven’t had any issues with Sikh wear these years.
One person writes about the importance of a basic understanding of religion in America’s multicultural society: “Everyone should have a basic understanding of all religions, including Sikhism and the 5K.”
According to the website of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Council, the five symbols of all Khalsa that start with the letter K are: keshor with long hair and beard, kangha, a comb that keeps clean as a sign of relinquishing the world, unlike hermits, kara, a steel bracelet, kachch, shorts, and kirpan, a sword.
Indian lawmakers also responded to the harrowing video by urging university leaders to apologize.
BJP leader Mankind Singh Sirsa shared the video on Twitter, writing: “Despite many campaigns across the globe to raise awareness of Sikh Karkars, watch To the UNC campus police brutality to detain a Sikh youth for his kirpan is disheartening. I condemn the discriminatory attitude towards Sikh students by university authorities,” Sirsa tweeted.
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