Citing hygiene, Bengaluru college bars bearded Kashmiri students from classes

Citing hygiene, Bengaluru college bars bearded Kashmiri students from classes
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Srinagar, Aug 9: Four Kashmiri students studying nursing course at a Bengaluru college have been barred from attending their nursing classes for growing beard.
According to a report, the students, three from the first year, B.Sc (Nursing) and one from second-year faced the alleged discrimination after Priyadarshini joined the college — the Adarsh College of Nursing in Mariyappana, Mallathahalli as the new principal nearly a month ago.
The report said the new principal has cited ‘hygiene’, to bar the students from taking their classes.
“The students were told by the principal that if they fail to shave off their beard, their internal marks would be affected and they could face expulsion,” the report said.
“For the last one week, we are being sent out of class on instructions from the principal for not shaving our beards. The management was fine with our beards when we got our admission at the college. All of a sudden, the principal, who joined just 20 days ago, asked us to shave our beards and barred us from attending classes. The beards are part of our religion and I don’t understand why it should bother the principal. Even on Wednesday, we could attend only two classes and when the principal got to know of it, she asked the lecturers to send us out,” the students told a national newspaper.
Justifying her decision, the college principal said that it is a professional course and that there was a need for students to be ‘disciplined and maintain hygiene’.
“It’s an internal issue which was resolved with the college management,” Priyadarshini was quoted as having said.
S. Sachidananda, Vice-Chancellor of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), to which the college is affiliated, said the college management had erred as it could not hurt the religious sentiments of its students.
“We will inquire into the matter and issue directions to the college not to impose its views in this matter,” he said.
However, the students said they discussed with their families in Kashmir, who have advised them to shave off the beard and not to get involved in any trouble, the report added.