The Italian Judicial Court has permitted “amritdhari” Sikhs to wear a 6 inch long kirpan. The verdict was delivered by a court in Piacenza city in northern Italy. The verdict came from a case filed in 2013 which involved the arrest and imprisonment of Talwinder Singh Wadali who is the president of the International Sikh Federation a Sikh group in Italy. Talwinder was arrested because he wore a kirpan in a public place and charges were filed against him under the Army Act.
The trial took 1 year and the Talwinder’s defense maintained he posed a harm to no one. The defense did a wonderful job explaining the history and meaning behind wearing the kirpan which all amritdhari Sikhs wear. This judgement is pivotal as Sikhs are harassed frequently in airports in Italy.
The hope now is to have other European countries change their rules to allow kirpans.
Makkar commented on the case:
We have explained time-and-again that the ‘kirpan’ is a weapon of defence and not for offence. Sikhs make use of the ‘kirpan’ to protect the weak and the oppressed and never to attack anyone,” said SGPC chief.