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UP school stops two Muslim girls from wearing headscarf on campus

The school management wrote to the girl’s family and said that the institution functions as per its rules and not on religious beliefs.

lucknow Updated: Nov 24, 2017 16:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh,Catholic School,Muslim girls
Barabanki’s district magistrate Akhilesh Tewari said the girl’s family has approached him to intervene in the matter.(HT File Photo/Representative image)

A Catholic school in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki district has barred two Muslim students from wearing the headscarf inside the campus, saying it is against the uniform code of the institution, the family of the girls have alleged.

Maulana Mohd Raza Rizvi said Anand Bhawan School, affiliated to both Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) and UP boards, prevented his daughter and niece, both students of Class 7, from wearing the hijab that covers the head and hair of the wearer.

“We are the follower of Islam that strictly require girls to cover their head by the time they attain the age of nine. Therefore, our children wear the headscarf. But the school authorities do not allow them to wear it inside school premises,” Rizvi told the Hindustan Times.

“Since our Constitution allows each of us to practice our religion freely and there is no barrier to pursuing education to any community following and practising their faith. And even Sikhs are allowed to wear turban by schools,” he added.

The school management wrote to the girl’s family and said that the institution functions as per its rules and not on religious beliefs.

“Ours is a minority institution,” the letter reads.

The school authorities could not be reached for comment.

Barabanki’s district magistrate Akhilesh Tewari said the girl’s family has approached him to intervene in the matter.

“I have asked basic shiksha adhikari, PN Singh, to investigate the matter,” Tewari said.

Lucknow’s St Joseph’s Inter College had to face a magisterial inquiry in 2015 after it sent a Class 9 student home for wearing the hijab, saying she had violated the school’s dress code.

In the same year, school regulator Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) issued a set of instructions for students appearing for the All-India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT), which included a ban on long sleeves, veils and headscarves.

It led to a wave of protests with some organisations arguing that some articles of clothing like a hijab, or a veil, were part of their “essential religious practice”.

The board later announced that it would consider allowing students to wear burqas and religious headgear provided they could be rigorously frisked separately at the examination centre.

First Published: Nov 24, 2017 16:12 IST