Jagmeet Singh a Sikh man from Wolverhampton who was detained at Gatwick Airport for carrying a religious ‘dagger’ called a ‘Kirpan’ has called for more education on why it’s important that Sikhs carry one. The Kirpan is carried by Sikhs as a symbol of faith.
He was questioned by security staff while waiting for his family, who were on a flight, after a member of the public had reported a man carrying a knife.
Mr Singh, from Wolverhampton, has called for more training for staff after he was detained by airport security staff.
He said: “I can see if there was a concealed weapon of some sort. and someone was acting dodgy in any way, but I’m literally a family man picking up my young family.”
The airport have said that it is down to managers’ discretion on decisions about carrying a Kirpan and blades up to 6cm (2.6in).
Gatwick highlighted Department for Transport guidance which said airport managers had “the discretion to prohibit any article which, in their view might be used or adapted for causing injury or the incapacitation of a person”.
It also added: “The carriage of blades including kirpans and knives less than 6cm is at the discretion of the airport manager.”
Back in 2017, Drayton Manor Theme Park lifted its ban on knives following a Sikh family, from Coventry, being refused entry when a man refused to remove his Kirpan.
Under current law, knives can be carried for religious reasons, A campaign has been launched to educate the public on the Basics of Sikhi and wants to see more specific legal protections for Sikhs carrying kirpans.
The Home Office revised the Offensive Weapons bill, currently going through Parliament, “to ensure that the possession and supply of large kirpans for religious reasons can continue,” a spokesman said.