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University in USA apologises for arrest of Sikh student with small kirpan

In a shocking incident, a Sikh student was arrested at the University of North Carolina US by the police for wearing a small Kirpan as part of his religious code

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte in the USA has apologised to the Sikh student who was arrested on the campus for wearing a small kirpan as a part of his religious dress code.

The apology for the arrest from the Chancellor of the University, Sharon Gaber, comes after an uproar over the shocking incident on social media.

“UNC Charlotte dispatch received a 911 call reporting someone with a knife in the building. Police officers responded to the scene and engaged the individual in question. During this interaction, the individual was placed in handcuffs while officers took possession of the object. The handcuffs were removed after the object was retrieved. Further investigation showed the item was a kirpan, an article of faith in Sikhism,” Gaber said in a message to the campus community posted on the university’s website, UNCC.edu.

“State law and University policy prohibit the possession of a knife or other edged instruments on campus, but we will use this as a learning opportunity by engaging in constructive dialogue with Sikh students and employees.

“We want every Niner to feel welcomed, supported and safe. We apologise that is not what this young man felt in our union yesterday. We are committed to ensuring it doesn’t happen again,” the message said.

The student uploaded a video of the incident on Twitter and said that the police had handcuffed him for refusing to let the officer remove his Kirpan from the miyaan (scabbard).

Sikhs from all around the world and other social media users have condemned the incident.

One user said in a country where people go around carrying guns, its sad indeed that a person who meant no harm to anyone has been picked up from a university campus.