Sikh girl to attend diff school till 'kara' case ruling

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London, Mar 11 (UNI) Sikh schoolgirl Sarika Singh, who was excluded from school last November for refusing to remove her 'kara' (bracelet), is to attend a different school on a temporary basis while awaiting a High Court ruling here.

The previous school Aberdare Girls Comprehensive School said wearing the 'kara' does not meet with its code of conduct.

Sarika's mother claimed the school was infringing her daughter's human rights by demanding she remove her religious bracelet.

Human rights organisation Liberty is fighting her case, which is to be heard at a later date at the High Court.

Until then, she is being allowed to attend another school within the same Rhondda Cynon Taf Local Education Authority area.

In a statement, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said, ''Sarika Singh is attending Mountain Ash Comprehensive School pending the outcome of a High Court case.'' ''The school say they are happy for her to wear the 'kara','' it added.

The High Court had refused to allow Sarika to attend Aberdare Girls School while the case was on-going.

Anna Fairclough, Liberty's legal officer, said, ''Nothing less than our traditions of religious freedom and racial tolerance are on trial in this case. Individuals from any religion who wish to modestly express their faith should not be denied a proper education, as Ms Singh has been.'' Cynon Valley MP Ann Clwyd had previously called on governors at Aberdare Girls School not to waste public money in fighting a case they cannot win.

''Fellow MPs, the Sikh Association and Liberty told me that Sarika will win her case. There are legal precedents establishing a Sikh pupil's right to wear those items that are essential to their religion,'' she said.

''Boys, for example, have been allowed to continue to wear turbans, following court cases and there is no reason to believe that the court ruling will be any different in Sarika's case,'' she said.

''I simply cannot understand why the school is insisting on going ahead with the legal case,'' she added.


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