On January 1, six Muslim students of a government Pre-University college in Karnataka’s Udupi were barred from attending classes wearing a hijab. The college management cited a new uniform policy behind the reason for the ban. The issue has now spilled over to other government colleges in Udupi with several students protesting against a ban on hijab. Here are the top points.
STUDENTS STILL BARRED FROM ATTENDING CLASSES IN KUNDAPURA
A total of 28 Muslim students of Kundapura college were asked not to attend classes wearing hijab. The administration cited new government guidelines that bans the usage of hijab inside a classroom. Meanwhile, some Hindu groups allegedly forced boys to wear saffron shawls on the college campus in a response to Muslim girls insisting on wearing hijab.
The girls were not allowed inside the college premises. On Monday, February 7, reports emerged that protesting students were made to sit separately and denied classes.
EDUCATION MINISTER SAYS ADHERE TO DRESS CODE
However, Karnataka Education Minister BC Nagesh took to Twitter to clarify, saying that it was the protesting students’ choice to sit separately and continue their protest. He repeated that students must adhere to the dress code to attend classes.
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BC Nagesh said students who insist on hijab-wearing will not be allowed into the government educational institutions. Then, he asked some students protesting on the street outside the college to sit in a separate room but they were not imparted lessons.
UNIFORM RULES MENTIONED IN CONSTITUTION, SAYS CM BOMMAI
Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai said rules regarding uniformity in schools and colleges have been mentioned in the constitution and those will be followed. Bommai said, “There is a rule in the constitution regarding uniformity in schools and colleges. The rules are also clearly mentioned in the Karnataka Education Act. All these rules are clear as to what’s to be followed. We have issued a notification.”
STUDENTS PROTEST AGAINST HIJAB BY WEARING SAFFRON SHAWLS
A group of students wore saffron shawls to college in protest against allowing hijab inside the classroom. They were prevented from entering the premises by the principal and the police personnel. They agreed to enter the classes by removing their shawls only after the principal assured them that no hijab-wearing student would be allowed to enter.
NO LAW AND ORDER ISSUE IN KUNDAPURA, SAYS POLICE
Meanwhile, Udupi Additional SP Siddalingappa said, “The situation is under control in Kundapura and students are being allowed to come to the colleges and allowed into the campus by wearing hijab. There is no law and order situation in Kundapur.”
BLUE SCARVES IN CHIKKAMAGALURU COLLEGE
According to a PTI report, some students sported blue scarves and entered a college in Chikkamagaluru, and raised the slogan ‘Jai Bhim’ in front of those wearing saffron scarves. The students wore blue scarves supporting the hijab-wearing girls.
KARNATAKA HIGH COURT HEARING TOMORROW
Ahead of the High Court hearing on the row, Bommai appealed to everyone to maintain peace and said his government would take steps after the court order. He asked institutions to follow mandatory uniform rules issued by the government until the court order is out.
The mandatory uniform rules do not allow hijab or scarves inside college premises. The court will hear the petitions of five girls questioning the restriction on wearing hijab.
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