HYDERABAD: It’s policing of a different kind. Police personnel working in Hyderabad central zone, who are observing Ayyappa deeksha or intend to follow it, have been banned from wearing black robes. What more, no permission would be granted for the men in khaki to grow beard or hair for religious purpose.
While senior police officials are not aware of any such diktat issued by central zone DCP VB Kamalasan Reddy, DCPs of other zones in Hyderabad police commissionerate said they have not been given any such instructions by superior officers. Terming it “most urgent”, Kamalasan issued an internal circular on Nov 25, directing all ACPs and inspectors that no permission be granted for growing hair and beard for religious purposes to any member of the police force.
Also, the circular banned cops observing the Ayyappa deeksha from wearing black clothes. The circular, however, said if any cop wants to observe the deeksha, he can apply for a long leave, the sanction of which would be considered by higher-ups. Further, the DCP instructed that permission cannot be accorded to police personnel to perform duties without wearing prescribed uniform, shoes and clothing material.
The DCP also told ACPs and inspectors not to entertain applications from subordinates for such permission. While the police staff are perplexed, Telangana Police Officers’ Association president N Shankar Reddy said it is a departmental policy issue.
When contacted, Kamalasan Reddy said a constable, who is observing the deeksha, had approached him seeking permission to grow beard. “I told him rules do not allow for this. I asked the constable to apply for leave. Following this, I issued this circular,” he said. A senior police official, not willing to be quoted, feigned ignorance about such circular. “We do not know how and why he issued the circular,” he said.