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Sikh Inmate Sues California Prison For Asking Him To Trim Beard

LOS ANGELES (AP)  — A Sikh inmate in a San Luis Obispo prison is suing the state Department of Corrections, alleging that he was unfairly disciplined for refusing to trim his beard in adherence to his religion.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California filed the lawsuit on behalf of Sukhjinder Basra on Friday.

Basra, who is serving time at the California Men's Colony for a drug offense, claims that guards told him he violated a rule prohibiting inmates from growing facial hair longer than a half inch. As punishment Basra said he was ordered to perform extra prison duties, spend 10 days confined to his bunk, and lost 30 days of credit for good behavior.

A corrections spokeswoman says the department doesn't comment on pending lawsuits.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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