08 October 2008

Jagmohan Singh Ahuja - Before And After Picture

I am in tears. My heart aches inside me.

I have been following and writing about this case of the Sikh prisoner in Florida who had his kesh forcibly cut and shaved. Please take a good look at these pictures. I hope posting these does not further humiliate our brother, but I think this needs to be seen. So take a good long look. If this doesn't break any Sikh's heart...

In no way do I excuse his beating his wife. He deserves to be prosecuted and imprisoned for that. I do not accept that he didn't understand that what may be acceptable in Afghanistan is not acceptable in America - if he really did say such a thing, which is open to question.

But prosecution is not persecution. I come from a family where our members have proven under fire that they would die before cutting/shaving. Our hair is Vaheguru's gift to us and keeping it is Guru's gift to us.

We must stand with Brother Jagmohan Singh Ahuja and United Sikhs to end this gross violation of human rights.
To sign the United Sikhs petition to stop this outrage, click here. According to the United Sikhs page, 3353 have signed this petition. Where are the rest of you? Please. This takes only a minute. How many times I have I heard, I'd like to help, but I have no time, no money, whatever. This takes no money and very little time. Can't we unite and do what we can to help this brother and any other Sikh inmates in Florida prisons? So move those fingers on your keyboards and go sign this petition!

Despite Protests City Stands By Inmate Haircut Policy

POSTED: 4:40 pm EDT October 6, 2008
UPDATED: 9:59 pm EDT October 6, 2008

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Members of the Sikh religion and the America Civil Liberties Union marched outside the Duval County Jail Sunday, claiming an inmate's religious rights were violated when he was forced to cut his hair and have his face shaved.

Sikhs said Jagmohan Ahuja, a member of their religion, had his long hair cut his beard and mustache shaved while behind bars.

Ahuja, 36, has been held since April 29 on three misdemeanor charges relating to violation of protective order and violation of probation. According to the jail Web site, he is not eligible for bond.

On Monday, the city's attorney released a statement saying, "When an inmate's religious practices compromise the safety and security of our corrections facilities, safety and security must take precedence."

Nonetheless, members of the Sikh religion said they want change.

"We won't stop here until the policy is changed," said Jaspreet Singh of United Sikhs. "It's completely against our religion to cut any hair on our body. It's considered an integral part of our body, part of what you are."

According to reports, when police arrested Ahuja, he told the officer, "I am from Afghanistan and in my country it is perfectly acceptable to beat your wife."

Ahuja is now serving a three-year sentence.

"The state of Florida convicted him and sentenced him to three years in jail. Not three years plus violate his religious rights," Singh said.

On Monday, Channel 4 received the following statement from the city's attorney:

"The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is committed to respecting and accommodating the religious beliefs of all our inmates population. However, when an inmate's religious practices compromise the safety and security of our corrections facilities, safety and security must take precedence. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has a long-standing policy that mandates sentenced male inmates have short hair and wear no head coverings. This policy is consistent with that of many other correctional facilities throughout Florida and the United States. This policy is necessary to assure the safety of all inmates and corrections officers, by limiting an inmate's ability to conceal contraband and/or weapons. This policy has been determined by courts to be lawful. While we fully respect the involved inmate's religious beliefs, the safety and security of our correctional facility must prevail."


  1. This is hard to read! I can only imagine what he is feeling. It's so horrible. I hope the protest that the Sikh's held will be able to change something..or maybe brighten up his spirit. I pray for him and all Sikh's that are in Jails in any country. May their Sikhi sentiments not be hurt.

  2. Dear Anonymous Ji - It's a long shot. This situation happened before in Florida and they shipped the prisoner out of State, to New Hampshire or Vermont, I think.

    We remain in chardi kala and pray that our brother will, as well, realising that for some reason we don't understand, this is the Hukam of Vaheguru.

    And we might also remember his wife and family who must be going through hell.

  3. The man beat his wife, where in the Guru Granth Sahib is this acceptable thus allowing it to be acceptable in Afghanistan?

    We shouldn't be fighting for the rights of a WIFE BEATER to keep his kesh.

    His cut hair should be a constant reminder of the wrong he has done!

  4. Dear Anonymous2 - You are right, of course, wife beating is totally wrong, a horrendous crime, contrary to the teachings of Sikhi. No sane person can argue that. And perhaps his cut hair will remind him that he had become an oppressor and done a great wrong.

    However, his rights under law are the same as yours and mine. His kesh was cut not as punishment for his crime but because he was a prisoner. Had he been imprisoned for traffic crimes or anything else, the result would have been the same. Any keshdhari Sikh man in Florida faces this, even if wrongly convicted.

    This horrible practice must be ended, not only for Jagmohan Singh Ahuja, but for all Sikhs - and those of other religions that forbid cutting.

  5. Prison officials stated that hair must be cut short as it prevents Inmates from hiding weapons with which they can attack staff, which seems sensible.

    What about the right to carry a Kirpan? I'm sure this right is also lost when sent to prison, should we fight for this?

    What is the proposed solution?

    Kind Regards

    Anonymous 2 a.k.a Jatinder

  6. Dear Jatinder ji - Thanks for using your name. That adds to my already considerable respect for you.

    I have question. Why is long hair on men dangerous, but not on women? Or should women also be forcibly shorn? That is clearly just a dodge, an excuse, not a reason. The turban is another thing, but that is not relevent here.

    The kirpan is completely different than the hair in two respects that I can think of off the top of my head. First, only Amritdhari Sikhs are required to carry the kirpan, while all Sikhs are supposed to keep kesh either from birth or from the day of becoming Sikh, although many do not. Second, the hair are an integral part of the body. To cut them is thus akin to a sort of amputation, which is a mutilation of sorts. Just because "everyone does it" does not make it any less so.

  7. hello i was working with Jagmohan Ahuja in Kyrgyzstan, would like to send him hello, and best wishes, he need all luck what he can get, very sorry for his wife and would like to say to her how sorry i am. i knew his family as well, so good luck. How i can contact with him? Do you know his e-mail? write to me on natalyadiakonova-bank@yahoo.co.uk

  8. Dear Anonymous ji - I do not have any information other than what is here. I suggest you get in touch with United Sikhs, who have been working on his case. They might be willing and able to help you.

    Their address is:


    In the upper right-hand corner is a link, "Contact Us" That would be where to start.

    Chardi kala and please let me know if you are able to make contact.

  9. Ok i will thank you very much!!!

  10. Dear Natalya ji - How nice to call you by name! Please let me know how this turns out. It is possible that United Sikhs would be willing to give a message while not giving the address.

    If this does not work, get back in touch; maybe we can think of something else.

    Chardi kala!

  11. Hello, left messege for him, but they didnt write to me anything so i think he has all support what he need. thank you for your help!!

  12. Dear Natalya - Sorry for the late response. Please do not give up! I am sure this man - and his family - need all the support they can get.

    I'm sure we can think of something...

  13. The KHALISTAN is the only SOLUTION.

  14. Anonymous ji (the most recent),

    I have come to the same conclusion.



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