Does the Muslim community continue to face be treated like second-class citizens in India or is it a one side-story without an argument that holds water? In yet another case, a Kolkata-based Muslim man was termed a ‘terrorist’ by his organisation for sporting a beard. His ordeal didn’t end there as he was also sacked from the job. Mohammad Ali Ismail, victim, had been working with Adhunik Group of Industries as a General Manager- Mines, for a period of six years. Ismail had gone to Haj last year in May with a group of people, only to return sporting a beard.

As per Ismail, his salary was slashed to half and the other half was paid in kind. The dispute between him and his company continued till March this year. After innumerable failed attempts to bring an amicable solution, Ismail sought an appointment with Managing Director of Adhunik Industries- Manoj Agarwal.

Ismail got to meet the MD, but the meeting yielded no results. When Ismail asked about his pending dues, he was thrown out of his office. Recalling the incident Ismail says, “As soon as I returned from my Haj pilgrimage, I had been sporting a beard. The MD of the company said that I was trying to threaten him and termed me a ‘terrorist’. It was extremely saddening to hear that I was termed as a ‘terrorist’ on my own soil.” (Also read: Zeeshan Ali Khan, Muslim graduate denied job is now hired by Gautam Adani!)

Since then Ismail has approached Minority Commission, Human Rights Commission, and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s office, but to no avail. Even a FIR against the company wasn’t paid heed to, says Ismail. He is likely to approach Calcutta High Court to get justice and seek an public apology for hurting his religious sentiments.

The company meanwhile, has denied all the allegations and termed it as a blatant lie. Mahesh Agarwal, brother of Manoj Agarwal said, “Whatever Ismail has said is a lie. He had threatened us that he would ransack and vandalise our office. He is a fraud.” (Also read: Misbah denied flat for being Muslim, Government promises action)

The company has agreed for a mutual agreement now, as soon as the news broke out. Only time will tell as to which part of the story is true, as there have been instances in past i.e. of Zeeshan Ali Khan and Misbah Quadri, where the truth came out to be completely different from the initial allegations. However, even if there is even a bit of truth in the entire episode, it is sad that a person is hired or fired based on his religion inclination.