Amritsar, July 30, 2023: Sri Akal Takht Sahib and the Sharomani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) have condemned the New York Police Department (NYPD) for not allowing Sikh troopers to grow beard.
It has been learnt that a New York-based trooper had sought permission to let him grow beard for his wedding, but his request was denied on the basis that it posed a safety issue regarding the use of a gas mask.
Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh said religious beliefs and customs of Sikhs were no longer a matter of introduction.
“The Sikhs won a legal battle to serve in the US military. Why did the NYPD stop a Sikh trooper from growing beard?” he said.
Seeking intervention of the Ministry of External Affairs, SGPC chief Harjinder Singh Dhami said the authorities concerned should allow the Sikh troopers to serve in Sikh appearance.
“Gas mask can be worn easily by tying unshorn beard. We demand the Government of India to take notice of this issue and ensure the protection of the Sikhs’ rights in the US,” he said.
Meanwhile, Akal Takht Jathedar directed the SGPC, the DSGMC and other Sikh bodies to help kin of Avtar Singh Khanda in procuring the UK visas to attend his last rites.