Indian army to purchase 12,730 ballistic helmets designed especially for Sikhs has drawn criticism from the topmost religious leaders in Sikhism, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, that said that turban is a sacrosanct symbol of Sikh heritage and asked Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh to stop this purchase plans.

At forefront of the controversy has been Indian Company MKU which developed a new helmet, dubbed Veer that has a bulge to accommodate a Sikh soldier’s topknot and offers protection against small-arms fire and is compatible with mounted night vision goggles, cameras and communication systems that Sikh soldiers previously could not use with their turbans.

Kusumesh Mishra, an engineer at the defence firm MKU was the brains behind the Veer Helmet and according to him in his interaction with Indian Army soldiers, Sikh Soldiers could often lament the lack of appropriate headgear. Mishra claims a dozen Sikh soldiers tested veer helmets near India’s tense borders with China and Pakistan and received several positive feedbacks on it.

Several high Ranking Sikh Veterans have supported Indian Army’s move and called this diktat from the Religious body uncalled for as life and death depend on such helmets.