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Karnataka Hijab Row: Students skip exams

Muslim girl students protest as new government rule bans hijab in institutions

Hijab-wearing students from at least two Karnataka institutions, including 13 Shivamogga girls scheduled to take a Class 10 pre-board exam, skipped school on Monday rather than taking-off their headscarves before entering classrooms.

The news: The hijab controversy in Karnataka took centre stage again on Tuesday, when more than 35 Muslim girl students were denied access into their classrooms for wearing headscarves and staged a protest on the school premises in Kodagu.

  • Similar events were recorded around the state where students skipped classes and examinations or decided to protest as the political debate over the issue heated up.
  • On Monday many students of Class 10 persisted on wearing the hijab while taking the test.
  • The Government High School in Shivamogga had designated a separate class room for Muslim girl students to remove their headscarves, but 13 Class 10 students persisted on wearing the hijab while taking the test, officials said.
  • After the incident Deputy director of public instruction, MN Ramesh, visited the institution to convince the girls to adhere to the dress code, but they walked out.
  • “The high court is yet to issue an order but the school authorities are asking us to remove our hijab,” said a student.
  • She added: “If they continue to force us…we will drop out of school.”
  • Thirty students from Karnataka Public School in Nellihudikeri, Kodagu district, also did not attend school since they were not allowed in with their heads covered.
  • The Karnataka High Court will resume the matter for hearing at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
  • In its interim order, the high court had ruled against wearing of any religious outfits to colleges.
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