Hijab row: Pakistan summons India’s envoy

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The Hijab protests began on February 4 at the Government Girls PU college in Udupi district in Karnataka when some students alleged that they had been barred from attending classes wearing hijab…reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan has summoned India’s Charge d’Affaires in Islamabad over an ongoing hijab row in Karnataka, according to a media report.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Foreign Office said that the Indian Charge d’Affaires was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was conveyed the government’s “grave concern and condemnation on the deeply reprehensible act” of banning Muslim students from wearing hijab in Karnataka, Daily Pakistan reported on Thursday.

“The charge d’ affaires was urged to convey to the Government of India, Pakistan’s extreme concern over the anti-hijab campaign, being spearheaded by RSS-BJP combine in Karnataka, which is part of its larger exclusionist and majoritarian agenda aimed at dehumanizing and demonizing Muslim women,” FO spokesperson said in a statement, ARY News reported.

The Hijab protests began on February 4 at the Government Girls PU college in Udupi district in Karnataka when some students alleged that they had been barred from attending classes wearing hijab (a headscarf worn by Muslim women).

On Monday, students of different colleges arrived that Shanteshwar Education Trust in Vijayapura wearing saffron stoles amid the Hijab row in Karnataka.

The pre-University education board had released a circular stating that the students can only wear the uniform approved by the school administration and no other religious practices will be allowed in colleges.

Following these protests, a three-day holiday from February 9 to 11 has been declared in all the universities under the Department of Higher Education and colleges under the department of Collegiate and Technical Education (DCTE).

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Thursday refrained from giving a specific date for the urgent listing of a plea seeking transfer of petitions from the Karnataka High Court, which is currently examining the permissibility of hijab in schools and colleges.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana.

Sibal submitted that this deals with what is happening in Karnataka, and its spreading in the entire country. The Chief Justice told Sibal that the Karnataka High Court is already examining the issue and it should be allowed to decide it. “Why should we jump in at this stage? It does not look nice,” said the top court.

Sibal said the exams are just two months away and his client has filed the petition today (Thursday). The Chief Justice emphasized that let the high court hear the matter first.

Sibal submitted that the top court could list the transfer petition and keep it pending. The bench said after the top court interferes in the matter, then the high court would never hear it saying the issue is pending before the apex court.

Sibal insisted that this issue needs to be considered, as schools and colleges are closed. The bench reiterated, “Let HC hear it first”.

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