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Sikh Man 'Barred From Birmingham Jury Service' For Carrying a Kirpan

'I felt embarrassed and discriminated against, I didn't expect it to happen to me,' says Jatinder Singh.

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South Asians
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"To have that happen to me, I felt embarrassed, I felt discriminated against, I didn't expect it to happen to me," says Jatinder Singh, from Smethwick, who was summoned to serve as a juror at Birmingham Crown Court on 29 October.

As reported by the BBC, Singh, who was the president at Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick and secretary general of the Sikh Council UK, said this was the second time he was called for the jury service.

“The security guard said I could take (my kirpan) off and leave it with him and collect it at the end of the day,” Singh told BBC News, adding that during the first time service, he faced no issues.

“I felt like a child who had gone to school and taken something they shouldn’t and had it confiscated."

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Following the incident, the Sikh Federation UK wrote to Justice Minister Alex Chalk asking him to condemn the way Singh was treated.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said Mr Singh was released from his duties as there was a surplus of required jurors.

Meanwhile, His Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has apologised to Mr Singh and they have reminded their contracted security officers of the correct steps to be taken to prevent such incidents from happening again..

The MoJ said members of the Sikh community wishing to enter a court building could bring in a Kirpan which was not more than six inches long (15cm) and with a blade no more than five inches (12cm) in length - which Mr Singh said his was.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Indian Diaspora   Sikh diaspora 

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