World

Italian court upholds ban on Sikhs carrying kirpans

May 17, 2017 10:39 AM

Punjab News Express
ROME: The Italian Supreme Court has ruled against a Sikh migrant who wanted to carry a kirpan in public.

The court on Monday said migrants who choose to live in Italy must respect Italian laws prohibiting the carrying of weapons even though Sikhs regard kirpan as sacred.

The court, while acknowledging that diversity in a multi-ethnic society is important, ruled that "public safety from weapons was of paramount importance and superseded an individual's rights", BBC reported.

The Sikh man in the case was appealing against another court's decision ordering him to pay a 2,000 euro fine ($2,195) because he had been caught leaving his home in Goito, northern Italy, armed with a kirpan measuring nearly 20cm, the Italian media reported.

The man had argued that his kirpan as well as his turban were symbols of his religion and wearing them was part of his religious duty.

But the court in Rome ruled that migrants must ensure that their beliefs are legally compatible with host countries.

"(While) the multi-ethnic society is a necessity, public safety is an asset to be protected," the court ruled.

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