Mumbai: Samajwadi Party (SP) leader in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Rais Shaikh on Friday made a bizarre demand asking BMC hospital doctors to stop asking Muslim patients from shaving off their beard in case of minor operations.

Shaik had alleged that doctors of BMC hospitals ask Muslim patients to shave off their beards before performing surgery and thereafter wrote a letter to BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta demanding to stop asking Muslim patients to shave off beard for minor operations.

Reportedly, Shaikh had said, “Sporting a beard is an important part of Islam. As an Indian, I have a right to religion guaranteed by the Constitution. In cases of life-threatening surgeries, it can be okay but in smaller operative procedures, consent from the patient or his family is required.”

Shaikh had on earlier occasion courted controversy when he had demanded that the civic body distribute 22 items to school children including scarves for Urdu medium schoolgirls. He also sparked controversy for his objection against the compulsory ‘Surya Namaskar’ in BMC schools as “Doing Suryanamaskar was worshipping the Sun, a Hindu god, as the Muslim community only allows the worship of Allah.” Shaikh had also objected singing Vande Mataram.