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Bengaluru college bars bearded Kashmiri students from classes

Bengaluru August 9: A private nursing college here has kicked up a row by allegedly placing curbs on growing beard citing hygiene, with some students from Kashmir claiming that it affected their religious beliefs.
The management of the Adarsha College of Nursing said the move was mainly to promote hygiene but the issue has now been resolved.
When asked whether the college had passed any order pertaining to growing beard, a college official told PTI, “No. It is not true. Already we have sorted it out. Students are already in the classroom.
There was some misunderstanding between the students and the management. Now everything is fine.”
He said the students were allowed to come sportingbeard.
“We have given some direction that they can trim and come in a good shape,” the official said.
According to reports, some students alleged that they were not allowed to sit in the classroom because they refused to shave off their beard.
Some students from Kashmir claimed that it affected their religious beliefs.
They alleged that at the time of joining, the management did not have any problem with their beard.
“For the past week, we are being sent out of class on instructions from the principal for not shaving our beards. The management was fine with our beards when we filled the admission form and all of a sudden, the principal, who joined 20 days ago, asked us to shave it off. She barred us from entering class. The beards are part of our faith,” said one student.
Another alleged that on Wednesday, he could only attend two lectures. “When the principal got to know that we were in class, she asked the lecturers to send us out,” he claimed.
“We tried reasoning with her but she was adamant, citing discipline and uniformity.”
When The Hindu contacted Ms. Priyadarshini, she said she stood by her decision as it was a professional course and that there was a need for students to be ‘disciplined and maintain hygiene’. “These people are serving the patients and it is our protocol to ensure that the nails of our students are short and the boys come clean shaven and do not have piercing. Moreover, it’s an internal issue which was resolved with the college management.”
Bewildered by her decision, the four boys checked with other nursing colleges in the city to find out if it was mandatory for them to be clean shaven. “We were told that there is no such rule,” they said.
The nursing college is affiliated to the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS). S. Sachidananda, Vice-Chancellor of the RGUHS, said the college management had erred as it could not hurt the religious sentiments of its students.
“We will inquire into the matter and issue directions to the college not to impose its views in this matter,” he said. However, the students said they discussed with their families in Kashmir, who have advised them to shave off the beard and not to get involved in any trouble.