Amritsar,Punjab: The issue of cutting of head and facial hair of Sikh jail inmates in Singapore prison has once again come to fore after Singapore Prisons Services department assured to look into the matter.
Former prison volunteer for Singapore Anti Narcotics Association Madan Mohan Singh told TOI on Thursday that the Quality Service Manager of Singapore Prisons Services, Kok Weng Chew informed him on January 29th that he would look into the matter of cutting of hair and beard of Sikh inmates by labeling them ‘non practicing’ Sikhs.
Madan Mohan Singh had exposed the sacrilege act of cutting of head and facial hair of Sikh jail inmates by labeling them as ‘non practicing’ and ‘ non traditional’ Sikhs. He informed that there had been three known cases of Sikh inmates whose head and facial hairs were cut after labeling them as ‘non practicing’ Sikh by prison.
“On behalf of the Sikh community I have demand withdrawing the practice of labeling of Sikh inmates as “non practicing” and also stop the cutting of long hair and beard of Sikh inmates” he said.
Following a complaint lodged with Akal Takht by Sikh the Jathedar of Akal Takht had also issued directions of initiating of an inquiry which is yet to be completed. He informed that despite prison directives on regular hair grooming, the jail authorities in Singapore cut head and facial hairs of Sikh jail inmates.
“The jail directives says that all Sikh inmates will be allowed to keep their hair as at point of admission, that is , if they enter prison with a full head of hair, prison will allow them to keep their hair, and if their hair is already shorn upon admission, they will not be allowed to keep their hair during their sentence” he said. Contrary to directives, he said Sikh jail inmates were made to believe and accept by senior jail officers that if they had been taking drugs, smoking and drinking alcohol, it constitute them to be classified as ‘non practicing Sikh’ and as par prisons standard regular hair grooming , their hair would be cut.