Berhampore, Sept. 13: The district police authorities have revoked the suspension of Muhammad Akram Ali Sheikh, the constable who was asked not to report for duty for growing a long beard.
But the relief for Akram has come with a transfer order. Instead of the Hariharpara police station, Akram will now be on duty at the intelligence department of Murshidabad police.
“We have issued a permission to the constable that he can keep a beard as is the tradition for Muslims after returning from the pilgrimage in Mecca. The suspension has been withdrawn,” said district superintendent of police Virendra.
Akram received the superintendent’s message this morning.
“I work for the superintendent and I am extremely grateful for the just decision. From today, I will work with diligence and honesty and prove that despite my appearance, I am fit to carry out my responsibilities...This will be a way to express my gratitude to the superintendent sahab,” a beaming Akram said.
On September 3, Murshidabad additional superintendent of police Shankar Singh had served Akram an ultimatum that he should shave off his beard in 24 hours. When Akram refused to carry out the order, pleading it was part of the Haj tradition, Singh issued the suspension order on September 5.
What had struck Akram as unusual was the suddenness of the action. He had the beard ever since he returned from Haj in 1996. But no one had objected to it before Singh.