Dhaka: The headmaster of an Islamic school in Bangladesh said on Sunday that he had banned 15 teenage students from attending lessons after they trimmed their beards.
Mohammad Mudesser Hussain said the pupils were told to grow beards two inches (five centimetres) long before returning to study at the Tahfizul Quranul Karim Fazil Madrassa near the capital Dhaka.
"We called their guardians and told them their boys have trimmed their beards, which is against the uniform rules of the madrassa. They have been told to stay out of the madrassa until they sport beards again," he said.
Many Islamic teachers disapprove of shaving, and Hussain said it was against the founding principles of his madrassa.
One of the expelled students said that dozens of students who were boarding in the school`s dormitories had been thrown off the campus.
"The principal and several teachers summoned us and instantly ordered us out," the 17-year-old said on condition of anonymity.
Nearly three million, mostly poor, pupils attend thousands of state-sponsored madrassas in Bangladesh, accounting for 10 percent of the country`s student population.
A further two million students attend unrecognised religious schools.