'Doesn’t seem like a case of discrimination': Swara Bhasker on Muslim cop being suspended over a beard

Sub-inspector in Uttar Pradesh Police, Intesar Ali, was suspended on Thursday and sent to the police lines for keeping a beard without permission. After a Twitter user tweeted about 'how minority Muslims were being treated in the country', Bollywood actress Swara Bhasker stated that it 'doesn’t seem like a case of discrimination' as it is part of the police manual.

A Kashmir-based journalist and activist had tweeted: "Muslim Police Officer (SI) Intesar Ali in UP Suspended For Keeping Beard Without Permission. This is how Minority Muslims are treated in a country. Other religions hv all the privilege to follow their religious belief but Muslims are restrained to practice theirs."

Replying to it, Swara shared SP Baghpat Abhishek Singh's quote and wrote, "'SP Baghpat claimed that, only Sikhs are allowed to keep a beard while all other policemen have to remain clean-shaven.' SP is right on this. Far as I know these are the rules. They apply to everyone. You should fact- check this. This doesn’t seem like a case of discrimination."

According to IANS, Ali had reportedly been warned thrice to shave off or seek requisite permission for the same. However, the policeman did not seek permission and continued to keep the beard.

SP Baghpat Abhishek Singh said that as per the police manual only Sikhs are allowed to keep a beard while all other policemen have to remain clean-shaven.

"If any police personnel want to keep a beard, he has to seek permission for the same. Intesar Ali was repeatedly asked to seek permission but he did not comply and kept the beard without permission," the SP said.

However, Ali -- who joined the police force as sub-inspector and was posted in Baghpat since the past three years- in an interview with The Print, claimed that he had written the letter seeking permission in November 2019 and his plea has been pending ever since.

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