Hijab protests leader Fatima wins in Karnataka


Kaneez Fatima defeated BJP’s Chandrakant B Patil by 2712 votes…reports Asian Lite News

Congress MLA Kaneez Fatima, who emerged as a strong figure during Karnataka’s hijab demonstrations, has won the Uttar Gulbarga constituency in the Karnataka assembly elections. She had also won the same seat in the 2018 Assembly polls.

She defeated BJP’s Chandrakant B Patil by 2712 votes.

In late 2021, the Karnataka BJP government banned girls and women from wearing hijabs in state-run institutions and universities. This resulted in rallies and counter-protests leading to tensions in the state.

Kaneez was among a few Congress leaders who stood with the protesting Muslim female students.

In February 2022, Kaneez had demonstrated outside the District collector’s office in Kalaburagi demanding state government of the time to take back its hijab ban decision.

She has also challenged the state government to stop her from wearing a hijab to the Assembly elections which just concluded with a sweeping majority in favour of Congress.

Earlier in 2019, she also participated in a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Kaneez was one of eight Muslim candidates picked by the Congress to contest the Assembly elections. In February last year, Fatima had gathered outside the District Collector’s office in Kalaburagi to stage a protest against the Karnataka government’s decision to restrict the wearing of hijab in classrooms in the state. The state Education Department had ordered that all schools under it had to adhere to the dress code –  that clothes which disturb equality, integrity, and public order will be banned.

Kaneez protested against the ban saying that the girls were being oppressed and denied their right to education. Claiming that the BJP was trying to rake up communal tensions, she led a group of students who protested against the hijab ban. She had challenged the state government to stop her from wearing a hijab to the Assembly.

Before that, in December 2019, Kaneez had protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) alongside Chittapur MLA Priyank Kharge in Kalaburagi town.

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