Kirpans seized at Leamington Spa (UK) Gurudwara returned
Ceremonial weapons seized after a protest at a Gurudwara have been returned, the Sikh Council at Leamington Spa (UK) said. Officers had earlier arrested 55 people at the Gurdwara Sahib in Leamington Spa following reports men entered the building during a dispute over inter-faith marriages.
A number of Kirpans – a short sword and one of five physical symbols of faith worn by Sikhs – were seized. Davinder Singh, from the Sikh Federation, said a formal complaint could be made despite the return of the Kirpans. “[The police] said they needed them for investigation and forensic purposes, but we felt it was unacceptable,” he said.
“This clearly is not the end of the matter. We want the police to explain why they kept them.” Kirpans carried by Sikhs for religious reasons are permitted under UK law
The protest by Sikh Youth UK members on September 11 was in response to an inter-faith marriage due to be carried out as a Sikh marriage. Under UK law it is generally illegal to carry a knife in public without good reason. However knives used for religious purposes, such as Kirpans, are permitted