The incident involving the 25 students took place at the Kundapur government pre-university college in Udupi district where Hindu students on Wednesday came to college wearing saffron towels objecting to Muslim students wearing hijab.
Written by Kiran Parashar | Bengaluru |
Updated: February 4, 2022 3:22:47 am
On Thursday, the Muslims students wearing hijab were stopped at the front gate by the college principal and other officials. (Screenshot)
Around 25 Muslim students were denied entry into the premises of a college in Karnataka on the grounds that they were wearing a hijab. Earlier, a government college in Udupi district had barred students from wearing hijab to classes. The issue later spilled over to other colleges as well.
The incident involving the 25 students took place at the Kundapur government pre-university college in Udupi district where Hindu students on Wednesday came to college wearing saffron towels objecting to Muslim students wearing hijab. A meeting was convened by the Kundapur BJP MLA Halady Srinivas Shetty during which it was decided to ban entry of students wearing hijab.
Hijab row: Udupi college principal stops hijab-wearing students near building gate; students demand to know why the sudden change in rules.
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On Thursday, the Muslims students wearing hijab were stopped at the front gate by the college principal and other officials. They were expressly told that they could enter the premises only if they removed the Islamic head scarf. The students objected to the move and questioned why such a rule was suddenly enforced.
While Ramakrishna, the college principal, was not available for comment, he was heard saying in a video, “As a government servant, I am following the orders of the department.”
A Muslim student of the college said that a meeting was convened on Wednesday to convince parents of Muslim wards to send them without the head scarf. However, they were not convinced. The student said that since the Hindu students had threatened to wear saffron towels to classes, the college came under pressure and banned the hijab. “We have been attending classes wearing hijab for all these years but the rule was enforced in one day,” the student said.
The college authorities are in a fix as the decision to ban hijab was made by the College Development Monitoring Committee (CDMC), headed by MLA Shetty. Meanwhile, the Karnataka High Court will hear a plea, filed by a student of the Udupi pre-university government girls college seeking directions to allow Muslim students to wear hijab to college, next week.
Karnataka Education minister BC Nagesh on Thursday said that educational institutions must not become the warfield of two communities. “It is a sacred place and every student should feel equal. As it is now before the court, let us see what comes out. The final report will be submitted and it will be followed from the next academic year.”
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