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Muslim policemen allowed beards
|The government in the western Indian state of Rajasthan has granted a long-standing request by Muslim policemen to grow their beards. The policemen say wearing beards helps them display their Muslim identity. The state Home Minister, Gulab Singh Saktawat, told the BBC that Muslim policemen would have to seek government approval before growing their beards, and would then have to keep them short.
Muslim groups have welcomed the move, but hard-line Hindu organisations have accused the state government of trying to appease fundamentalist clerics. Very few of the 50,000-strong Rajasthan police force are Muslims, according to a BBC report on 28 December.
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