Karnataka Hijab row: Govt says issue only in 8 high schools & pre-university colleges

The High Court last week restrained all the students from wearing saffron shawls, scarves, hijab and any religious flag within the classroom

Bengaluru: The hijab row persists only in eight high schools and pre-university colleges of the total 75,000, the Karnataka government said on Thursday, expressing confidence of resolving the issue.

The High Court, in its interim order pending consideration of all petitions related to the hijab row, last week restrained all the students from wearing saffron shawls, scarves, hijab and any religious flag within the classroom.

However, the controversy refuses to die down as some students remained adamant to be allowed to attend classes with 'Hijab' and 'Burqa' on Thursday as well.

Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh told the media here that the "problem" is limited to only a handful of high schools and pre-university colleges.

"Out of 75,000 schools and colleges, problem persists in eight colleges. We will resolve this. We are happy that all the students have followed our order," he said.

Tension prevailed at the Sarala Devi College in Ballari as the parents and students staged a sit-in demonstration in front of the institution after the students with Burqa were not allowed inside, with authorities citing Court order.

After persuasion by the police and lawyers, the demonstrators dispersed.

At Vijay Institute of Para Medical Sciences in Belagavi, the agitation led to tension.

Six people who had raised 'Allahu Akbar' slogan in front of the college were arrested.

According to police, many people who were not associated with the college took part in the protest. After identifying them, police detained them.

In Chitradurga Women's PU College, students staged a protest outside the institution.

A student complained that they were not allowed inside their 'own college'.

"Aren't we students of this college? We have been coming here for five years. The court has only given a temporary order (restricting the use of Hijab and saffron scarves). Our only request is that we will remove Burqa but we will wear Hijab. If we are not allowed inside, we will sit outside everyday," the student said.

Another pupil said they were supposed to write the preparatory exams but due to the ban, they were forced to sit under the scorching sun.

In Chikkamagaluru, students took out a rally and sought to know why Hindus were allowed to use their "religious symbol of Bindi and bangles" if there was any restriction.

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 to grant permission to wear Hijabs in classes, which was denied. 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.

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