Udupi: Man held for threat to college principal over state hijab ban

Published on Mar 04, 2022 12:25 AM IST

Police have identified the man as 32-year-old Mohammad Shabeer, a resident of Kolar, and the arrest was made on Tuesday based on a complaint from the college management.

Protests, some of which have turned violent, have erupted in several parts of Karnataka over the hijab issue since December end, leading to the closure of schools and colleges, besides imposing prohibitory orders. (PTI)
Protests, some of which have turned violent, have erupted in several parts of Karnataka over the hijab issue since December end, leading to the closure of schools and colleges, besides imposing prohibitory orders. (PTI)
By, Bengaluru

Udupi police have arrested a man over an alleged threat to the principal of Composite PU College in Kundapur for not allowing students to wear hijab in class, officials said on Thursday.

Police have identified the man as 32-year-old Mohammad Shabeer, a resident of Kolar, and the arrest was made on Tuesday based on a complaint from the college management.

A senior officer of the Kundapur police said that in a complaint, college authorities alleged that an email threatening him with dire consequences was sent to the principal of the college. Police didn’t reveal the principal’s name for security reasons. “We can’t reveal the details of the mail, but broadly it said that if his daughter was not allowed to enter classes with a hijab, he would harm the principal. We were able to track the email back to Shabeer, who is from Kolar. We have taken him into custody for questioning after producing him before the court,” the officer said.

Police said a case has been registered Shabeer under section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

Protests, some of which have turned violent, have erupted in several parts of Karnataka over the hijab issue since December end, leading to the closure of schools and colleges, besides imposing prohibitory orders.

The Kundapura college witnessed intense protests days after the row broke out. Students wearing hijabs were seen protesting at the gates of the college after they were denied entry into campus from the first week of January. Later, students were allowed to protest in the main hall but were not allowed to enter the classes.

In a similar incident, on February 20, the principal of a junior college in Karnataka’s Madikeri district, had lodged a police complaint against a man for issuing a life threat after he sent back hijab-clad students from the college.

Police have identified the man as Mohammad Tousif, who posted on social media: “You won’t live any longer”, directing at the principal.

Principal Vijay explained that he had only tried to explain to children about the government order and the interim order of the Karnataka high court.

The issue had come up in high court during the hearing of the hijab controversy. Senior counsel SS Naganand, representing the Government PU College for Girls, told the full bench, comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice J M Khazi and Justice Krishna S Dixit that some teachers were threatened. “The teachers were afraid of lodging a complaint but now they have filed a complaint with the police,” he said on February 22.

When Justice Dixit asked when the teachers were threatened, Naganand said a couple of days ago.

Naganand also said the uniform-related regulation was in force in the girl’s college since 2004. Following this, the Karnataka government informed the high court that a first information report (FIR) has been registered against the members of the Campus Front of India (CFI), who had allegedly threatened some teachers in the Udupi college, and details relating to the CFI was submitted to the bench in a sealed cover. “With regard to the submission made by senior advocate S S Naganand against an organisation, an FIR has been registered,” Navadgi told the bench.

However, Udupi police said that they have not found any evidence against the organisation.

The Karnataka high court has reserved its verdict in the hijab case.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arun Dev is an Assistant Editor with the Karnataka bureau of Hindustan Times. A journalist for over 10 years, he has written extensively on crime and politics.

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