Doctors at civic-run hospitals in Mumbai ask Muslim patients to shave off beard before they perform surgery on them, the Samajwadi Party alleged on Friday.
Rais Sheikh, the SP's group leader in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said he had received several complaints from Muslim patients on the issue. In his letter to civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta, Mr Sheikh said, "Keeping a beard is long-cherished part of our faith and I have received several complaints from our Muslim brother patients who say doctors advice them to shave off beard before performing even a minor surgery."
"I have demanded that Mehta instruct doctors to ask patients to shave off beard only when it is extremely necessary," he said.
The SP leader said the BMC's heath department has taken cognisance of his complaint over the issue and framed a policy to prevent doctors from resorting to the practice.
However, this could not be immediately corroborated with civic officials.
Mr Sheikh was among the corporators who had in the past raised objection to making ''Surya Namaskar'' (Sun salutation) compulsory in BMC schools.
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