In service for 25 years, Muslim police officer in UP suspended for keeping beard ‘without permission’

Photo credit: ThePrint

A Muslim sub-inspector of Uttar Pradesh has been suspended for flouting dress code norms by keeping a beard ‘without permission’ from his superiors.

The sub-inspector, Intsar Ali, posted at Ramala police station in Baghpat district, however, claims his plea has been pending with the authorities since last November, and that the beard was never a problem in his 25 years of service, ThePrint reported on Thursday.

The police dress code manuals state that apart from those belonging to the Sikh community, other police personnel cannot keep a beard without permission from the authorities.

Baghpat SP Abhishek Singh said Thursday: “Ali was suspended yesterday as he kept his beard without permission and even after repeated instructions, he failed to comply with the dress code norms. Earlier, he was also issued a show cause notice on the matter. SI Ali has been suspended for indiscipline and a probe has been ordered against him.”

The Baghpat police added in a statement, “Intsar Ali was earlier served with a notice for not following uniform protocol and trimming beard in the past. Despite this, Ali continued to flout dress code norms without any permission from the concerned authorities/irresponsibility towards his duties.”

However, Ali told ThePrint, “I had written the letter seeking permission in November 2019. I have served the UP Police for 25 years, and until now, nobody had stopped me from keeping a beard.”

The sub-inspector admitted that his seniors had told him to trim his beard multiple times since last year, but added, “I joined as a constable in 1994; at that time, I had a light beard. But over the last couple of years, I have always had a beard of this length. I had gone to ask for leave last year, and the SP at the time, Pratap Gopendra Yadav, questioned me over my beard. I have had postings in other places too, over so many years of service, but nobody has ever stopped me. I had given a letter seeking permission too, but I still haven’t got it.”

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