Karnataka students with hijab turned away

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The Government PU college at Vijayapura in north Karnataka, which allowed hijabs earlier, did not allow students wearing hijabs to enter the classrooms today, reports Asian Lite News

Even as the Karnataka High Court hears arguments on allowing religious clothing in educational institutions, another government college in the state has turned into a site of protest for sending away students who insisted on wearing the hijab (headscarf) in classrooms.

The Government PU college at Vijayapura in north Karnataka, which allowed hijabs earlier, did not allow students wearing hijabs to enter the classrooms today. The college administration argued that they were only following interim orders of the court, which had allowed schools and colleges to resume only on the condition that no religious clothing be allowed in classrooms. The students, however, say the college did not inform them that they would not be allowed in hijabs or burkhas.

Dramatic visuals from the college show some students who had entered the classroom in hijabs and burkhas arguing with the teacher and the Principal of the school requesting them to follow the court order.

“We are in accordance with the High Court’s order that says no religious garment, whether hijab or saffron shawls, will be allowed inside educational institutions,” the Principal can be heard saying.

After a squabble, a separate space inside the college was allotted to these students to take off their hijabs and burkhas, and enter the classrooms.

The Principal had stopped these students at the entrance of the college but they forced their way in and protested against being denied entry.

After they were asked to leave, the students protested by raising slogans of “we want justice” and expressing their anguish to the media present at the spot.

Some women police personnel could also be seen at the spot in the videos from the college.

On February 14, students at some Karnataka schools were directed to remove their hijabs before entering the campus, in accordance with an interim High Court order that said educational institutions could re-open (after having been shut last week) but no religious clothing would be allowed.

Videos of women being asked to remove their religious clothing in the open had caused a massive outcry on social media with many calling it a “humiliating” experience.

Controversy over Muslim students barred from wearing the hijab began in December after six girls from Karnataka’s Udupi district voiced their concerns. They then approached the High Court.

Since then it has snowballed into a significant matter, with the Supreme Court also approached.

However, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said: “We will interfere only at an appropriate time.”

College in MP places ban on wearing headscarves

college in Madhya Pradesh witnessed a row over wearing hijab in the college premises, following which its administration issued a notice instructing students to follow the proper dress code on the campus.

The fresh controversy over wearing headscarves erupted at a government college in Datia district.

The row was triggered after a student wearing burqa-hijab was seen in the college following which students associated with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of the RSS, staged a protest raising ‘Jai Shree Ram’ slogans.

If that was not enough, the members of Durga Vahini, the women’s wing of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), staged a protest against the institute for allowing Muslim students to wear headscarves on campus.

Subsequently, D.R. Rahul, principal of the Government Autonomous College, Datia, put out a notice banning headscarves on campus.

“All the admitted students/girls in the college are informed that they will not be allowed to enter the college in clothes belonging to any particular community or other special dress like hijab etc. All the students should enter this temple of education in a decent dress,” said Rahul in the order.

The row surrounding Hijab is being witnessed in many colleges in Madhya Pradesh, despite the state government maintaining that there is no proposal to ban hijab in the state.

On Tuesday, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra, who belongs to Datia district, told the media that he has directed the district collector to investigate the matter.

“The Madhya Pradesh government has already stated that there is no proposal to ban burqa-hijab in the state. I have directed the Datia district collector to investigate the matter as to why the college administration ordered a ban on hijab. I request you not to create any confusion about it,” Mishra said on Tuesday.

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