New York, August 11
The Indian Embassy in Washington has taken up the issue of a Sikh New York State Trooper being barred from growing a beard with senior levels of the administration, as lawmakers voiced concern over the incident and termed it “religious discrimination”.
New York State trooper Charanjot Tiwana sought permission to grow a beard for his wedding in March last year. However, his request was denied on the grounds that keeping a beard would pose a safety risk if required to wear a gas mask.
Indian officials here took up the issue with the office of the New York State Governor, and India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, has taken up the matter with senior levels of the Biden administration. The New York State Police and the Governor’s office are also working on it, officials here said.
Assemblyman David Weprin, representing Queens in the New York State Assembly, termed the denial of Tiwana’s request to grow his beard “a concerning incident of religious discrimination” in the New York State Police.