Hijab issue: 40 Muslim girls abstain from PU exams in Udupi

The students decided to not appear for the examination without wearing the headscarf as they were hurt by the March 15 order

Udupi: Forty Muslim girl students from Udupi district of Karnataka abstained from appearing for the first pre-university examination on Tuesday as they were apparently hurt by the recent High Court verdict against wearing of hijab inside classrooms.

The students decided to not appear for the examination without wearing the headscarf as they were hurt by the March 15 order, sources said.

The Karnataka High Court on March 15 had dismissed petitions seeking permission to wear hijab inside the classroom, saying the headscarf is not a part of the essential religious practice in Islamic faith and also stated that the uniform dress rule should be followed in educational institutions where it has been prescribed.

Those who shunned the examinations on Tuesday include 24 girl students from Kundapur, 14 from Byndoor and two from Udupi Government Girls PU college, who are involved in the legal fight over wearing of hijab in classrooms. The girls had earlier boycotted the practical examinations also.

At the RN Shetty PU college, 13 out of 28 Muslim girl students appeared for the examination. Though some students reached the examination centre wearing hijabs, they were denied permission.

Four out of five girl students appeared for the examinations at Bhandarkar's college in Udupi, while all the girl students of Basrur Sharada college attended the examinations.

Six among the eight girl students of Navunda Government PU College abstained from the examinations, while only two out of 10 Muslim girls appeared for the examinations.

Some private colleges in the district allowed students wearing hijab to attend the examinations, sources said.

The Supreme Court on March 24 refused to accord urgent hearing on the pleas challenging the Karnataka High Court verdict. The students, though, are planning to wait till the apex court gives an order on the issue.

Girls, who approached HC, refuse to write exam

The two first PUC students who had approached the Karnataka High Court seeking permission to wear Hijab abstained from attending the examination on Wednesday.

Muskan and Safa, of Government PU College for Girls in Udupi, had approached the High Court along with their four seniors, seeking permission to wear Hijab inside the classroom. The High Court had turned down their request.

The girls were not ready to attend classes without Hijab and were not coming to the college. Of the six girls who had approached the court two were first-year PUC students. The first-year examination began on March 30 and as per the HC verdict, the girls had to remove their Hijab to enter the examination hall.

Both the girls Muskan and Safa did not appear for the exam, the college authorities confirmed.

In Udupi district, of the total 700 absentees, 113 are girl students while the remaining 587 are boys.

Majority of the Muslim girls appeared for the exams in coastal Karnataka areas.

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