K’taka: BJP MLA asks students not to enter college campus in Hijab

The row over hijab in Karnataka took a new turn on Monday with BJP MLA Raghupathi Bhat saying that students who are protesting and seeking permission to wear hijab in classrooms have been told to come to the college campus only if they decide to shun the hijab.

“Otherwise, we have clearly told them not to come to the college and spoil the academic environment,” he said. Meanwhile, the students have moved a petition to the High Court over this matter.

Raghupathi Bhat, speaking to reporters after holding a meeting at the Government Girls Pre-University College in Udupi, stated: “A meeting has been conveyed with the parents, lecturers and School Development and Management Committee regarding the controversy. The students who wanted to wear hijab with uniform were also called… four of them along with their parents participated.”

They were told, hijab cannot be allowed and they will have to wait until the submission of the committee report.

They can come to the campus in hijab and they will have to take off hijab in the classroom.

“Fifty per cent of them agreed, it seems. They told us they will get back to us on the issue by tomorrow (Tuesday),” he added.

The order says old guidelines should be continued. The students can attend classes, if they want to without hijab.

“We have told them clearly that, otherwise, from tomorrow, you come only if you have decided to come to class without a hijab. You can’t come to the premises of the college and spoil the college academic environment. We have also informed police regarding entry of media and other organisations into the campus,” he stated.

“There is no room for confusion anymore. Whoever follows discipline let them come to college,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, one among the students demanding permission to attend classes with hijab has moved to High Court. Resham Farooq, the student has requested declaration of the wearing of hijab as a fundamental right under articles 14 and 25 of the Constitution.

Advocates Shatabhish Shivanna, Arnav. A Bagalawadi and Abhishek Janardhan have submitted the petition seeking permission of the court for the students to attend classes wearing hijab without interference of college management.

They have also sought interim order from the High Court regarding students attending classes wearing hijab.

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