In a shocking incident that occurred in the United States of America, a Sikh student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte was arrested on campus for wearing a Kirpan.
The incident was first made public when the student uploaded the incident's video on Twitter and said that the police had handcuffed him for refusing to let the officer remove his Kirpan from the miyaan.
In the video's caption, he described his suffering: "I wasn't going to post this, but I don't think I will receive any support from @unccharlotte. I was told someone called 911 and reported me, and I got cuffed for "resisting" because I refused to let the officer take my kirpan out of the miyaan.
I wasn't going to post this, but I don't think I will receive any support from @unccharlotte . I was told someone called 911 and reported me, and I got cuffed for “resisting” because I refused to let the officer take my kirpan out of the miyaan. @CLTNinerNewspic.twitter.com/Vk9b0Tspvm— امآن وڑائچ (@thatsamaan) September 23, 2022
Sikhs from all around the world and other social media users reacted angrily to the incident.
The video has amassed more than 21,00,000 views, over 56,000 likes and several comments. Social media users gave a sharp reaction to the manner in which police treated a college-going student.
An upset social media user wrote that it was "very unfortunate that you got arrested with no provocation or threats made. Many Americans legally carry small handguns in their holsters, they don't get arrested. I hope the complaint gets dismissed & an apology is issued,". Another user wrote, "This must be looked into and the officer must be reprimanded and trained so that he knows the legality of baptised Sikhs carrying religious items. There have never been any problems with Sikhs carrying these for many years.
A person wrote about the significance of having a basic understanding of religion in the multicultural society of America, "Everyone should have basic knowledge Of all religions, including Sikhism and the 5 K's".
Everyone should have basic knowledge Of all religions including Sikhism and their 5k's— 🇯🇲Elmz_thegamer🇯🇲 (@elmz_thegamer) September 23, 2022
Kirpan is one of the integral parts of five Sikh Kakars.
According to the website of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the five symbols of the Khalsa, all beginning with the letter K, are: the keshor long hair and beard, Kangha, a comb in the kesh to keep it tidy as against the recluses who kept it matted in token of their having renounced the world, Kara, a steel bracelet, Kachch, short breeches, and Kirpan, a sword.
Indian lawmakers also reacted to the upsetting video by calling for the university management to apologise.
Sharing the video on Twitter, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa wrote, "Despite numerous global campaigns to create awareness about Sikh Kakars, 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," Sirsa tweeted.
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. @UNCpic.twitter.com/10UkIZ3WT8— Manjinder Singh Sirsa (@mssirsa) September 24, 2022
"We demand an apology from Campus Police and Univ Admn at @unccharlotte that detained a Sikh youth for his Kirpan, a quintessential part of Sikh Kakars. We are in constant touch with @IndianEmbassyUS and @MEAIndia to ensure the Amritdhari student is released with due respect," Sirsa, a former legislator, said in a tweet.