‘Gurugram restaurant denied me entry because of…,’ claims NGO director

Harteerath Singh Ahluwalia, the director of Hemkunt Foundation – an NGO, has alleged that a restaurant in Haryana’s Gurugram denied him entry because of his ‘kirpan’, a religious article in Sikhism.

Harteerath Singh Ahluwalia, the director of Hemkunt Foundation.

Sharing a video on X (formally Twitter), Ahluwalia on Saturday wrote, “Last night at Jalsa, a place I visit for momos, I was met with sheer disbelief. They denied me entry simply because of my kirpan. This, in the 21st century, in a city like Gurgaon. It’s astonishing how some ppl and places still continue to discriminate.”

In the video, Ahluwalia can be purportedly heard telling a staffer of Jalsa, “Aapne discrimination ki hain, tabhi yeh video bana raha hoon… Kirpan hain, talvar nahi hain (You discriminated against us, that’s why I am making this video… This is kirpan and not a sword).”

In another post, the Hemkunt Foundation director wrote, “The Indian Constitution and flight regulations uphold my right to carry a kirpan, yet Jalsa thought otherwise. Strangers( who recognised me) supported me, exposing the absurdity of this situation but I was still denied a meal after being taken inside.”

“Let’s be real – it’s high time for such establishments to catch up with the times. Discrimination has no place in the diverse society we live in… Jalsa The Ladakhi Kitchen to be accurate near DLF phase 1,” he added.

Jalsa was yet to respond to the allegations.

Describing it as a “disturbing” incident, Sukhbir Singh Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal urged the ministry of home affairs to issue necessary instructions to ensure such acts are not repeated.

“Disturbing reports of a Gursikh being denied entry into a restaurant in Gurgaon for sporting a ‘kirpan’ point to the need to sensitise society about the symbols of faith of Sikhism. Such acts are condemnable & create a sense of insecurity amongst minorities. I urge @PIBHomeAffairs to issue necessary instructions to ensure such acts are not repeated,” Badal wrote on X.

Who is Harteerath Singh Ahluwalia?

Harteerath Singh Ahluwalia is currently the community development director at Hemkunt Foundation and heads the disaster management vertical. He has worked tirelessly through the Covid-19 pandemic, floods and the Afghanistan crisis.

Ahluwalia found a special mention in Forbes’s Under 30 2022 list.

The Gurugram-based non-profit’s projects include 24×7 oxygen supply and Covid-19 relief to menstrual hygiene and tree plantation. It played a crucial role in providing medical support during the second Covid wave. Led by Ahluwalia, the Hemkunt Foundation has impacted over 22 lakh people across 12 states, according to Forbes.

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