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Envoy to Iraq lends support in bangle row

The prime Minister's special envoy to Iraq on human rights is backing a 14-year-old Sikh girl excluded from her school after the governing body ruled she should not be allowed to wear her religious bangle, called a Kara.

Ann Clwyd, who is also MP for Cynon Valley, said that Sarika Watkins-Singh should be invited to return to Aberdare Girls' School in Rhondda Cynon Taf donning the bangle.

The school faces a High Court legal battle over its decision to ban her wearing the bangle, despite school rules that clearly forbid the wearing of all jewellery by pupils, except for one pair of plain metal stud earrings and a wristwatch.

"Wales is proud of its traditions of religious tolerance and it saddens me that this can be undermined by excluding Sarika over such an easily resolved issue," Ms Clwyd said in a statement this week.

The Kara bangle is one of the five Ks - items that baptised Khalsa Sikhs are required to wear at all times to display their commitment to the faith.

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