Koppa: Govt college students sport saffron shawls to protest classmates wearing hijab
The management of a state-run degree college in Koppa is in a fix after a section of students came to the college wearing saffron scarves to protest against the Muslim women allegedly attending classes with hijab.
The Government Degree College (GDC) in Balagadi, which had reportedly given in to the demand of the students with saffron scarves initially, and asked women not to attend classes wearing hijab, has now decided to allow everyone to wear whatever they wish to till January 10.
“We are convening a parent-teachers meeting which will also be attended by public representatives on January 10 to resolve the issue. The decision would be binding on everyone,” principal Ananth Murthy said.
He said, three years ago a decision was taken in a similar meeting and everyone abided by it till now.
“Everything was going smoothly but yesterday a few students suddenly appeared in the class wearing scarves. They were objecting to the dress code of some other students,” Murthy added.
“Three years ago, a similar controversy had erupted in the college, and it was decided that no one should come to the college wearing hijab but for the past few days, some women are coming to the college wearing it. Hence, we decided to come to the college wearing saffron scarves from yesterday,” a student said, pleading anonymity.
He also claimed, that upon their request, the college administration had asked the Muslim women several times to not sport hijab while on the campus, but they did not budge. The student warned that if this issue was not addressed, they would intensify their agitation in the coming days.
The incident comes days after six students were denied entry into classes by the college authorities in the Udupi district for wearing hijab. On Saturday, the parents of these students along with activists held a protest against the authorities for not allowing the students inside the class for three days.
Apart from not being allowed into the class over the dress code, the students also complained that they are not being allowed to talk in Urdu, Arabic and Beary languages. The girls stood outside the classroom for three days in protest. The students claimed though their parents approached principal Rudra Gowda for talks, he refused to hold a discussion on the issue.
(With inputs from PTI)