Schools, colleges shut for 3 days in Karnataka as Hijab row intensifies

On opposition parties in Parliament raising the hijab row and accusing the BJP of polarisation, the CM said, “These are all allegations and do not have any ground.”
The Karnataka high court is hearing petitions filed by five women from a government pre-university college in Udupi, questioning Hijab restrictions. (PTI)
The Karnataka high court is hearing petitions filed by five women from a government pre-university college in Udupi, questioning Hijab restrictions. (PTI)
Published on Feb 09, 2022 12:12 AM IST
Copy Link
ByHT Correspondent, Udupi

Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday ordered the closure of all schools and colleges in the state for three days as a measure to contain the rapidly deteriorating situation amid the hijab controversy.

“I appeal to all the students, teachers and management of schools and colleges as well as people of Karnataka to maintain peace and harmony. I have ordered (the) closure of all high schools and colleges for (the) next three days. All concerned are requested to cooperate,” Bommai said in a post on Twitter.

On opposition parties in Parliament raising the hijab row and accusing the BJP of polarisation, the CM said, “These are all allegations and do not have any ground.”

Proper education has to be given to students in the state. The state government is going by the law on dress code and the same stand has been put before the court, he added.

“The government has taken this decision in order to ensure the maintenance of law and order in the state till the court pronounces its verdict regarding the petition related to this. Either wearing Hijab or Saffron shawl is not permitted in classes of educational institutions. No one should venture to take law into their own hands. Ultimately the verdict of the court should be honoured,” Dr CN Ashwatha Narayana, minister for higher education, said on Tuesday.

He added that examinations scheduled on the days of the closure will be held irrespective, and the closure will be applicable for government, aided, unaided degree colleges, diploma, and engineering colleges.

Meanwhile, Araga Jnanendra, Karnataka’s minister for home affairs, held an emergency meeting at his residence Tuesday evening to review the situation across the state.

The Karnataka high court is hearing petitions filed by five women from a government pre-university college in Udupi, questioning Hijab restrictions.

Reacting to the girls wearing hijab, students from the majority Hindu community turned up to schools and colleges donning saffron shawls a week later to assert their faith, forcing a clash of religious beliefs.

Protests have erupted at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College in Udupi as students wearing hijab and another group of students wearing saffron stoles-headgears raise slogans on the college campus.

Karnataka state primary and high school education minister BC Nagesh recently said that the students wearing hijab in Kundapura were allowed to enter college premises as a “courtesy” while maintaining that complying with uniform code is a must.

The rise of communally charged incidents in the last six months in Karnataka has been largely attributed to the Bommai-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and its right-wing push ahead of the state elections, scheduled to be held in just over a year. To be sure, all five seats in the Udupi district were won by the BJP in the 2018 elections.

The Congress, which had remained silent over the raging issue for over a month, broke their silence last month when they said denying entry to these girls was a violation of their fundamental right.

“The situation in some Karnataka educational institutions has gone so out of hand that in one case the National flag was replaced by a saffron flag. I think the affected institutions should be closed for a week to restore law and order. Teaching can continue online,” DK Shivakumar, the president of the state Congress said in a post on Twitter.

He was reacting to a video, in which a student in Shivamogga was seen hoisting a saffron flag as part of the ongoing faceoff between classmates.

However, the principal of Government First Grade College in Shivamogga told HT that there was no flag on the post, in which the student hoisted a saffron flag.

“The post was empty, and we objected to the hoisting of any flag on the post. But they hoisted it anyway. The students came back after some time and removed the saffron flag,” Dhananjaya BR, the school principal told HT.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, July 02, 2022