By AP, Tuesday August 22, 07:40 PM
Angry Sikhs brandishing swords ransacked a police station in western India on Tuesday, outraged that six Hindus forcibly cut a Sikh teenage boy's hair in a dispute over a girl, a news report said.
Two police were injured and the windscreen of their jeep was smashed when they tried to control the protesters, who threw rocks at them in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan state, Press Trust of India news agency said.
The protesters demanded the arrest of the six Hindus who they said beat and cut the hair of a 17-year-old Sikh youth, the report said. All devout Sikh men grow their hair and wear turbans, and the religion bars haircuts.
Police believe the six targeted the teenager because they objected to his friendship with a local girl, the report said. The protesters filed a police complaint alleging that the six took the teenager to a deserted place and assaulted him.
The protesters also forced shops and businesses to close down for the day in parts of Jaipur, it said.
Anger mounts in India over Sikh boy's haircut
24 Aug 2006 11:25:39 GMT, Source: Reuters
NEW DELHI, Aug 24 (Reuters) – Lawmakers disrupted the Indian parliament and angry members of the minority Sikh community staged street protests on Thursday after a Sikh boy's hair was cut forcibly, witnesses said.
Uncut hair covered by a turban is an article of faith of the Sikh religion, founded more than 500 years ago in the northern Indian region of Punjab.
Protests began in northern India this week after six teenagers were accused of forcibly cutting the hair of a Sikh boy in Jaipur city, capital of Rajasthan state.
The six boys were apparently upset about the Sikh boy's friendship with a local girl, police said.
"This is painful and we don't accept it," said Rana Gurjeet Singh, a Sikh member of parliament, as lawmakers accused the Rajasthan government of failing to protect religious minorities.
The incident has led to demonstrations by Sikhs in Rajasthan, Punjab and New Delhi, with some men belonging to the community brandishing sacred swords in the streets.
On Wednesday, Sikhs in Punjab forced shops to close and stopped buses in protest.
"This attack caused me a lot of pain. It is an attack on the Sikhs and I want justice," Indrapreet Singh, the victim, told a local TV channel.
One of the six boys accused of being involved in the incident was arrested on Thursday in New Delhi. It was not clear what the charges were.
Sikhs constitute nearly two percent of mainly Hindu India's 1.1 billion population.
(Additional reporting by Geetinder Garewal in CHANDIGARH)