HYDERABAD: Four days after deputy commissioner of police VB Kamalasan Reddy had issued a circular barring policemen from growing beard and hair or wearing the customary black robes during Ayyappa Deeksha while on duty, which was reported by Express, Viswa Hindu Parishad leaders met Hyderabad police commissioner M Mahender Reddy on Saturday and submitted a representation seeking stern action against the DCP.
On November 25, the DCP issued a circular directing the police staff not to grow beard and hair by taking Ayyappa deeksha. If anyone wants to take deeksha, he can do so by applying for long leave, the circular says.
“We would like to submit that the memo issued by the DCP of Central Zone appears intended to hurt the religious sentiments of Hindu community.
Ayyappa swamy devotees working in the police department are being subjected to discrimination by not allowing them to wear black clothes and forcing them to go on leave in the garb of discipline,” said S.Sudershan Reddy, al-India vice- chairman of Sabrimala Ayyappa Seva Samajam.
Bhagawanth Rao, general secretary of Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsava Samithi, said any rule should be common to all. “Members of other religions, who are working in the police department, are allowed to grow beard, leave their duties for prayers in the middle of work during a particular month. Further, police officers officially host Iftar parties during the month of Ramzan,” he said.
“It is evident that Hindus have no religious freedom in the country in general and in the police department in particular which is entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the right to freedom of religions guaranteed by the Constitution.