DAVIS, CA - He was just trying to display his faith, but in return he was not allowed to ride the bus.
"I go to class like this, walk through campus like this," UC Davis student Harsimran Singh said as he pointed to his turban and religious bracelet.
Singh is proud of his Sikh faith. Everyday, he wears the five mandatory articles of his religion, including his Kirpan, is a ceremonial sword. The Kirpan is part of the Sikh uniform and baptized Sikhs are supposed to always wear it.
"It has a spiritual sense," Singh said.
But when Singh tried to board the bus bound for his hometown of Fresno Saturday morning with his Kirpan on his side, he said the bus driver called the police, accusing him of carrying a weapon.
"I was flabbergasted that this was actually happening," Singh said. "This is not a weapon, it's an article of faith."
Singh said the driver left him two options: Put the Kirpan in a bin under the bus or forgo his seat. Singh chose the latter.
"I had to apologize to my parents, I was like I'm sorry I'm not coming home," Singh said. "I am not going to compromise my faith, which I have a legal right to practice, in order to make someone else happy."
Singh said he's been on that bus with that driver several times over the last two years - his Kirpan always at his side - and he's never been told to remove it.
Amtrak said the Kirpan falls under their "prohibited items" category and needed to be secured in the baggage bin. They said it was the bus drivers' discretion whether Singh would be allowed to ride.
"It is very surprising. I'm not happy about it," West Sacramento Sikh Temple spokesperson Darshan Mundy said.
There are more than 150,000 Sikhs living in California, but more than a decade after 9/11, many still feel misunderstood.
"Because of our skin, because of our look, because of our turban," Mundy said.
Hate crimes continue to plague the Sikh faith. Two years ago two Sikh men were shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in Elk Grove. Mundy said the Sikh temple finds Amtrak's actions unacceptable.
"I think this measure we are going to take it with Amtrak," Mundy said.
Singh hopes his story will educate others and bring awareness.
"I don't want this happening to somebody else, not just Sikh, but any religion," Singh said.
Singh said he does not plan to take further action against Amtrak, but he said he will not be taking their buses or trains any time soon.