Hijab row: Muslim students denied entry for third day, stir spreads to social media

  • The protest intensified at the government college at Kundapur in Udupi district as the Muslim girls, who brought their parents, were not allowed to the premises for the third day.
The guardians, who were pushed into the compound gate of the college, later protested outside the campus. (Representational image)
The guardians, who were pushed into the compound gate of the college, later protested outside the campus. (Representational image)
Published on Feb 04, 2022 08:26 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

The ongoing Hijab (headscarf) row in Karnataka is gaining momentum with the protest spreading to other colleges in the southern state. Several students as well as netizens also took to social media to trend #HijabisourRight on Twitter even as the authorities continued to deny entry to Muslim girls in headscarves to college.

The protest intensified at the government college at Kundapur in Udupi district as the Muslim girls, who brought their parents, were not allowed to the premises for the third day.

The guardians, who were pushed into the compound gate of the college, later protested outside the campus. A few Hindu boys were also reportedly spotted roaming wearing saffron shawls on the college premises in protest.

Amid the prevailing tension, police personnel from Kundapur station present at the gate sent the girls’ parents away citing instructions from the government. The girls, however, continued to remain near the gate.

A Twitter user wrote, "Students protesting outside their college in Karnataka. They are again denied their entry in to the college for wearing #hijab… More courage and duas to you brave ladies. All apartheid walls shall fall #HijabisOurRight."

Another user named, Harun Khan, wro, "This is Karnataka. not allowing Girls with #hijab to enter classrooms. Next level of communal hate,True face of so called biggest democracy of the world.#HijabisOurRight."

Meanwhile, a group of students of the Government Girls’ PU college at Udupi, where the hijab row first erupted last month, approached the additional deputy commissioner to resolve the issue at the earliest to create a suitable environment for education in the college.

The girls said the final examinations are around the corner and the teaching process in the college is disturbed due to the presence of police and the media.

The district administration should take immediate action to solve the issue raised only by six students in the college, they said in the appeal.

The issue started in early January at the government girls’ pre-university (PU) college at Udupi, where six students attended classes wearing headscarves in violation of the dress code in classrooms.

The college had allowed hijab on the campus but not inside the classrooms. The students who protested against the directions were not allowed inside classes. The girls continued their protest by sitting outside the classrooms for about a month.

Udupi MLA and president of the college development committee K Raghupati Bhat held talks with the parents of the protesting girls, who insisted that their children be allowed to wear hijabs.

The school authorities later said that hijab-clad girls cannot be allowed inside the classrooms till an expert committee formed by the state government to study the issue comes out with its report.

The government also gave directions to schools to maintain the status quo on dress code in PU colleges. One of the six protesting students at the Udupi college moved the Karnataka high court on January 31, seeking interim relief to attend classes wearing the hijab till the issue is settled.

In her petition, the student submitted that wearing a hijab is her fundamental right guaranteed under Article 14 and 25 of the Constitution. The high court is expected to hear the case on February 8.

(With agency inputs)

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