The Karnataka governmentâ€™s decision to ban the possession of swords, machetes and other sharp objects in Bengaluru seems to have triggered a controversy as it has reportedly hurt the sentiments of Sikhs.
The notification passed on August 28, banned the acquisition, possession and carrying of arms without license specified in category V of the schedule I of the Arms Rules of 2016 in public places in the state capital.
Taking offence to the notification, Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the General Secretary of Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee and an MLA, has written to CM Siddaramaiah.
In his letter, Sirsa has mentioned that the notification is against the constitutional Right to Freedom of Practice and Religion. He mentions that the issue needs to be addressed at the earliest considering the â€śsentiments of Sikhsâ€ť.
He also mentioned that Article 25 of the Constitution gives Sikhs the exemption to carry kirpan as an article of faith without registration.
Sirsa also referred to an earlier incident when a Sikh man was de-boarded from a domestic flight at the Kempegowda International Airport for carrying a kirpan.
He stressed that according to Civil Aviation Rules, Sikhs are allowed to carry kirpans that have blades not bigger than six inches and a handle that is not more than three inches wide.
Sirsa has also written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the issue.
However, speaking to The Times of India, the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Subash Chandra said that Sikhs wonâ€™t be affected by the rule as other laws protected them.
He added that the notification was issued after taking approval from the stateâ€™s law department.
According to Chandra, the notification was aimed at giving police the power to seize weapons under suspicious circumstances.