AP minorities commission seeks President’s help on beard issue

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh State Minorities Commission on Monday sought the intervention of President Pranab Mukherjee in the row regarding allowing Muslim NCC cadets to sport beards on the lines of the exemption given to Sikhs.

A few Muslim youths who were not allowed to sport beards during a camp of National Cadet Corps here earlier this year had complained to the commission.

The Commission chairman Abid Rasool Khan and others met the President here and raised the issue, it said in a release.

The Commission had recommended to the Defence Ministry to consider allowing Muslims to sport facial hair/beard as in the case of Sikhs because both the communities are minorities.

“The recommendations were discussed in Rajya Sabha on December 2 by way of answer submitted by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who has replied that this matter is being examined by the Ministry and necessary orders will be passed,” Khan had earlier said.

The President should recommend to the ministry that it should grant such a concession, the commission members requested.

They also requested the President to advise the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments to consider the ‘Protection of minorities and other marginalised sections (prevention of atrocities) Act’, a bill drafted by the commission.

The delegation also requested Mukherjee to grant pardon on health grounds to Abdul Khadeer, a former head constable convicted for killing an assistant commissioner of police during communal riots in Hyderabad in 1990.