The Karnataka High Court will on Tuesday take up the hearing of petitions, filed by students of the Government Pre-University College for Girls, Udupi, demanding permission to attend classes wearing hijab. The bench headed by Justice Krishna S. Dixith is expected to give the ruling on the issue by noon.
The hijab row started after a few students in Udupi Government Pre-University College started wearing hijab last month and were turned out of classrooms. The students refused to attend classes without hijab and the college administration on the other hand took a firm stand to allow them only if they shun hijab.
The controversy now has been discussed at international levels. The hijab issue continues to haunt college campuses across the state as protesting students are not relenting and made their stand clear that they will only attend classes by wearing hijab. The issue has taken a communal turn with the Hindu students too wearing saffron shawls. They are maintaining that until the Muslim students shun hijab, they won’t take off saffron shawls.
The college authorities are not allowing the students to enter colleges with hijab and saffron shawls with the help of police. The issue has snowballed into a major controversy and threatening law and order situation in the state.
The students who filed petitions are Ayesha, Hajeera Almas, Resham Farooq, Alia Assadi, Shafa, Shameem and Muskaan Jainaab. They are represented by their mothers in the court and advocate Mohammad Tahir. Another student Resham Farroq has filed a separate petition through advocate Shatabish Shivanna. The court will hear the petitions together.
The students in the petition have submitted that the college authorities have refused them the right to attend classes only because they wear hijab. The petition has claimed that Udupi BJP MLA Raghupathy Bhat is illegally interfering in the activities of the college and has been made a party in the case.
They have further requested the court to issue directions to the government to not to interfere with their religious and fundamental rights. They mentioned that wearing hijab is an essential part of their religion.
The students have also explained in their petition that they wore hijab along with uniform. The petitioners explained that the Principal, Vice Principal and lecturers humiliated them for wearing hijab.
They further stated that the students belonging to Islam and wearing hijab were denied entry into the college on December 28, 2021. They were asked to bring their parents, and when their parents came, the college authorities didn’t meet them and made them wait for the whole day, the petitioner explained. The students have submitted two petitions to the High Court.
The Principal Secretary, Primary and Secondary Education Department, Director of Pre-University Education Department, Deputy Director of Udupi Pre-University College, District Commissioner of Udupi, Principal of Udupi Pre-University College will file objections to the court regarding the petition by the students to allow them to wear hijab while attending classes.
The petitioner students have made Rudre Gowda, Principal of Udupi Pre-University College, Vice-president Gangadhar Sharma, seven lecturers parties in the case.
The petition also seeks to order an investigation on the Principal of Udupi College for violating guidelines by the Pre-University Deputy Director and direction to the college authorities to mark their attendance.