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LS condemns forced haircut of Jaipur Sikh boy

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 24: The forced haircut of a Sikh student in Jaipur rocked the Lok Sabha today with the members condemning the incident, saying it has hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community, and Leader of the Opposition L K Advani demanding an inquiry into it.

But the House had to be adjourned twice, once for a brief period during Question Hour and later for 45 minutes during Zero Hour, when the Akali Dal members, supported by BJP legislators, clashed with the Sikh members of the Congress after Mr Madhusudan Mistry (Cong) said the minorities were not safe in the BJP-ruled states.

As soon as the Zero Hour began, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (SAD) said two incidents in the recent past had hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community very much-- one in Saudi Arabia and the other in Jaipur.

Narrating the first incident, Mr Dhindsa said the passport of a Sikh was impounded by the Saudi Arabian authorities recently and he was not allowed to go home after he refused to get his hair cut to get employment there.

''He should get his passport back and allowed to return,'' the SAD member said and added that the Sikh had written a letter to the SGPC which had forwarded it to the President.

The other incident, he said, involved a Sikh student of Jaipur whose hair were forcibly cut after he was beaten up by a group of four students jealous over the boy's love-affair with a girl.

''Severe action should be taken against the four youths who have now been arrested,'' Mr Dhindsa said.

Immediately, the Akali Dal members were on their feet, and were supported by the BJP members.

Earlier, Mrs Prema Cariappa (Cong) attacked the state government for having failed to safeguard the sentiments of the minorities and for not taking any action. Describing the incident as a ''well planned attack on the minority community,'' she said the state government had started by targeting the Muslims, then Christians and now the Sikhs.

Mr Tarlochan Singh (Ind) while defending the state government, said Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had spoken with a delegation of the SGPC and informed them that action had been initiated.

He criticised the Human Resource Development Ministry for not taking action against the principal of the school where the incident took place.

Mr Sitaram Yechury (CPM) while, ''completely'' associating with Mr Ahluwalia, said the country held the Sikh community in high esteem. He urged the state government to take necessary action.

Mr Amar Singh (SP) also wanted an assurance from the government that the interests of minorities--Muslims of Sikhs--were safeguarded in future.

The Home Minister, while speaking on another issue of atrocities against Dalit women in Bihar, assured action against the perpetrators and said whatever action needed, would be taken to prevent the incidents.

Mr Advani described the Jaipur incident as highly unfortunate, and said Navjot Singh Sidhu (BJP) had met the administration, and complainted against the principal of the Central School. Mr Advani demanded that the Human Resource Minister order an inquiry into the assault.

Mr Mistry said the incident had hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs.

As he referred to some remarks against the Bajrang Dal and the RSS, later expunged by Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, the BJP members rose in protest.

Amid heated exchanges, the Speaker asked Mr Kailash Singh Yadav (BSP) to associate with the issue, and called Mr Prabunath Singh (JD-U) to speak.

But Mr Mistry continued speaking, agitating the BJP and Akali members further.

The House plunged into pandemonium when the Sikh members of the Congress rose on their feet and entered into heated exchanges with the Akali members.

As the Bedlam continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till 1300 hrs.


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