After a long protest, the Government PU College in Kundapur in Udupi on Monday allowed students in hijab to enter the college on Monday, but were sent to a “different room”, prompting fears of segregation.
The news: Students wearing the hijab or veil are not allowed to attend several government schools in Udupi. Despite the fact that many Muslim girl students have been wearing hijab (headscarves) for many years, the BJP administration recently approved an ordinance requiring pupils to wear only uniforms.
- The principal of the Government PU College in Kundapur spoke to Muslim girl students wearing hijabs and explained the government’s order. After insisting on wearing the headscarves, the pupils were directed to “a separate room provided for them”.
What they’re saying: According to reports, the principal stated that they would not be permitted to attend lessons in order to “avoid congestion around the entrance”.
- Saffron shawls were worn by Hindu students to ‘protest’ against Muslim pupils wearing hijabs. On Monday, a procession of students from Venkataramana Campus in Kundapur arrived at the college wearing saffron shawls. The college principal and police officers on the scene blocked them from entering the building.
- If hijab-wearing girls are allowed in classes, the pupils claimed they will wear the shawls. They consented to remove their shawls and attend the classrooms only after the principal informed them that no hijab-wearing students would be permitted.
- Reports further add, pupils in hijab were sent home from the Kalavara Varadaraj M Shetty Government First Grade College in Kundapur.
- Two colleges declared Monday a vacation, according to the TV broadcaster, because the Karnataka high court is expected to hear an appeal on the subject on Tuesday. The petition was submitted by five women from a government pre-university college in Udupi, who questioned the hijab ban.
- Six students were excluded from courses at the Government Girls PU College in Udupi district last month because they wore the hijab. Wearing hijabs in school has long been frowned upon by right-wing parties in the region.
- Former Karnataka chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah has criticised the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for inflaming communal tensions by making the hijab a point of contention.
- “The right to practise any religion is guaranteed by the constitution, which means that one can dress in any religious garb. It is a breach of fundamental rights to prevent hijab-wearing students from attending school,” he stated.