Hijab row: K’taka HC to hear students’ plea on Feb 8

The Karnataka High Court will take up the petitions filed by students of the Government Pre-University College for Girls, Udupi, demanding permission to attend classes while wearing ‘hijab’, on February 8.

The advocate-general Prabhuling K. Navadagi, who was served an advance copy of the plea, sought time. Considering the request, the bench headed by Justice Krishna S. Dixit on Thursday posted the matter on February 8.

The students in the petition have submitted that the college authorities have refused them the right to attend classes only because they wear hijab. 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 the uniform. The petitioners said that the Principal, Vice Principal and lecturers humiliated them for wearing hijab.

They further said that the ‘students following the Islamic religion and wearing hijab were denied entry into the college on December 28, 2021’. The petition also claimed that from the last week of December 2021, their class teacher did not allow them to sit in the class, and were asked to bring their parents. When the parents came, the college authorities didn’t meet them and made them wait for the whole day, the petitioner said. The students have submitted two petitions to the High Court.

Meanwhile, the hijab row continues to haunt college campuses as protesting students are not relenting and have made their stand clear that they will only attend classes by wearing hijab. The college authorities are blocking students from entering the colleges with hijab. The issue is threatening to surface in more colleges of the state.

Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti commented on the hijab row of Karnataka and chided the central government. The slogan of ‘beti padavo, beti bachao’ on the education of girls is hollow. Muslim girl students are being excluded from getting education for wearing their traditional attire, he said.

Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said that the government is looking into the role of communal forces behind surfacing of the hijab row in the state, and he also said that necessary steps will be taken against them for challenging the integrity and unity of the nation. He further said that there is no room for ‘hijab’, ‘naqab’, ‘burka’, saffron and green shawls in the college campuses.

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