Students of government Pre-University college in Kundapur town wearing hijab arrive at their college in Udupi district in Karnataka. (Dinesh Rayappana Matt / AFP file)
Bengaluru: Chaos prevailed on Wednesday in several pre-university colleges in Karnataka, which were opened on Wednesday after remaining shut for a week owing to the Hijab row, as the Burqa-clad Muslim students were not let in.
Amid tight security with policemen deployed in and around Pre-university colleges at many sensitive places, the day saw a section of Muslim students remaining adamant not to remove the Burqa, let alone Hijab, the Islamic scarves.
In Udupi district, pre-university and degree colleges reopened on Wednesday even as police are keeping a vigil around the colleges where prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC have been clamped.
The six Muslim girl students, who have moved the Karnataka High Court against a ban on hijab remained absent, principal of the government PU college for women at Udupi, Rudre Gowda said.
Classes are being held smoothly at the college where other Muslim students removed hijabs before entering classrooms.
The 23 girl students who also insisted on wearing hijab at the government PU college at Kundapur in the district also kept away from classes on Wednesday. They were made to sit in a separate room last week when they refused to remove the headscarves before entering classes.
Classes did not resume at the MGM college, Manipal in Udupi, where chaotic scenes were witnessed last week with groups of students raising slogans against each other. The authorities had declared a holiday for the college on Wednesday.
Muslim students were allowed to enter classes after removing hijabs at the G Shankar government women's first grade college at Ajjarkad in the district. Those who refused were made to sit in a separate classroom.
The students complained that they were wearing hijabs to classes all through the academic year and the new decision has come all of a sudden.
The court, in its interim order pending consideration of all petitions related to the hijab row, last week restrained the students from wearing saffron shawls, scarves, hijab and any religious flag within the classroom.
Degree colleges also reopened on Wednesday but the government had made it clear that no uniform is stipulated there and, hence, students are free to wear the dress of their choice.
The burqa clad girls were barred entry in most of the government pre-university colleges leading to tension.
As the tension simmered in Sagara government pre-university college in Shivamogga district, the college authorities announced a holiday for the day.
In DVS College in Shivamogga, the girls who stood outside the college gate told reporters that their faith was more important than any government order.
"Today was our test and we are not allowed to go in. For us, practising our faith is as much important as education and Burqa is part of our faith. We will not let remove it," a girl told reporters.
In Vijayapura, the girls were not let inside the campus as they refused to remove their burqa. Similar incidents happened in Bijapur, Kalaburagi and Yadgir.
Due to the row over Hijab versus saffron scarves, leading to untoward incidents in parts of the State early last week, High schools, PU and Degree colleges colleges were shut since February nine.
High schools reopened on Monday.
On January one, six girl students of a college in Udupi attended a press conference held by Campus Front of India (CFI) in the coastal town protesting against the college authorities denying them entry into the classroom by wearing Hijab.
This was four days after they requested the principal permission to wear Hijabs in classes which was not allowed. Till then, students used to wear Hijab to the campus and entered the classroom after removing the scarves, the college principal Rudre Gowda had said.
"The institution did not have any rule on Hijab-wearing as such and since no one used to wear it to the classroom in the last 35 years. The students who came with the demand had the backing of outside forces," Rudre Gowda had said.