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Hijab row: Aligarh college bans entry with religious headscarf

In the midst of a blazing debate in Karnataka over limitations put on Muslim girls wearing the hijab (a headscarf) to educational institutions, a college in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh region has forbidden students from wearing any dress that could be ascribed to religion.

The news: DS College in Aligarh has forbidden students who are not clothed in the prescribed uniform from entering, according to news agency ANI. “We will not allow pupils to access the campus with veiled faces,” stated Dr Raj Kumar Verma, the college’s principal. On college grounds, students are not permitted to wear a saffron stole or a hijab.”

  • The orders came only days after Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students organised a protest march on campus to show sympathy for their colleagues in the southern state who are fighting for the freedom to wear the headscarf. As they marched across campus, they were observed carrying placards and shouting slogans. According to a news agency, they also issued a written statement in which they described the hijab ban as an affront to their fundamental right.

What they said: “After an event in Karnataka in which a young girl protesting the ban was hounded by a mob of vandals, we felt obligated to file a protest. We admire Karnataka’s brave girls,” the message added.

  • Meanwhile, once the government reopened educational institutions in Karnataka, numerous Muslim students have continued to defy the prohibition on their admittance into pre-university colleges for wearing the hijab.
  • Protests were held in colleges across Chikmagalur, Udupi, Shivamogga, Gadag, and Chitradurga districts. As the chaos continued, authorities threatened to charge a group of angry students with wrongful restraint and expel them from their college.

The Karnataka high court is now hearing the case. The court issued an interim ruling last week prohibiting students from wearing religious clothing to educational institutions until a final decision is reached.

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