Thursday, December 28, 2006

Jewellers in the western Indian city of Pune have said they will not serve women who wear veils covering their faces following a spate of thefts

Monica Chadha:

The Jewellers Association in Pune - about 170km from Mumbai - said three recent cases of theft involved women dressed in burkas.

The police were unable to identify the thieves because the women's faces were covered, they said.

Groups representing Muslims have had a mixed response to the move.

Chairman of Maharashtra State Minorities Commission, Naseem Siddiqui says the decision hurts religious sentiments and should not be accepted by the government.

"The burqa is an integral part of Muslim religion and asking women to not wear it while shopping for jewellery will not be acceptable to the community," he said.

"Tomorrow they will say Sikhs wearing turbans cannot enter the store because they could be hiding a weapon in it."

A spokesman for the All India Ulama Council, a group of Muslim scholars and clerics, Maulana Sayed Athar Ali said he would advise all burqa-wearing women not to shop in such stores.

Jewelers see veiled threat

Want Bling in India? Leave Your Burqa at Home


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