Up­set as Sikh sym­bol used to van­dalise protest ban­ner

Sec­ondary school cam­paign­ers re­port the in­ci­dent to po­lice

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jo-Anne Rowney jo-anne.rowney@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

PO­LICE are in­ves­ti­gat­ing graf­fiti scrawled on protest ban­ners near a Sikh free school.

The ‘Say no to a sec­ondary school in Stoke Po­ges’ ban­ner in Holly­bush Hill, Stoke Po­ges, was daubed with black marker in the shape of the Khanda, a sym­bol en­cap­su­lat­ing the doc­trine of the Sikh faith.

Po­lice were no­ti­fied on Jan­uary 28, and have said neigh­bour­hood of­fi­cers are mak­ing en­quiries.

Sikhs living in the vil­lage have anony­mously taken to so­cial me­dia to ex­plain how up­set­ting it was to see the sym­bol used in such a way.

The Khanda, sym­bol­ises the Sikh doc­trine Deg Tegh Fateh,

PROTEST:

Ban­ner de­faced by us­ing the Sikh re­li­gious sym­bol in Stoke Po­ges bring­ing to­gether the mil­i­tary, with the dou­ble edged sword, chakkar, for peace and two sin­gle edged swords to show the in­te­gra­tion of both spir­i­tual and tem­po­ral sovereignty.

Vice chair­man of the parish coun­cil Saera Carter said: “When we found out we no­ti­fied the po­lice who in­ves­ti­gat­ing it.

“It’s a sen­si­tive mat­ter as it is a re­li­gious sym­bol, im­por­tant to the Sikhs.

“There are about six to eight ban­ners across the vil­lage as agreed with the dis­trict coun­cil and to have them de­faced like this is dis­gust­ing.

“This is not the way for

are peo­ple to opin­ions.

“This is not about race, and we feel sorry for the Sikhs who have had to see their sym­bol used in this way.”

Cam­paign­ers have said the graf­fiti dis­tracts from the main is­sue – the re­cent ap­pli­ca­tion by the ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary

vent

their ap­ply­ing for per­mis­sion for acous­tic bar­ri­ers.

Mrs Carter added: “This was like us­ing the Star of David for Jews, it is an­other at­tempt to dis­tract from the real is­sue.

“Noise bar­ri­ers are not the an­swer, there is no way of know­ing if they will work and no way of stop­ping chil­dren go­ing around them.”

The ap­pli­ca­tion is in re­sponse to com­plaints raised in an in­quiry look­ing into the school’s oc­cu­pa­tion of the site, held last year, where neigh­bours said noise lev­els were un­ac­cept­able.

The plan­ning in­spec­tor ac­knowl­edged con­cerns over noise, prompt­ing the DfE and school to take ac­tion to mit­i­gate it.

A de­ci­sion is ex­pected by March 2.

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