Dozens of Hijab-Clad Students Denied Entry to Classrooms in Karnataka Amid Religious Clothing Row
13:27 GMT 16.02.2022 (Updated: 10:42 GMT 19.07.2022)
After six girls wearing Muslim headscarves in Karnataka's Udupi district were banned from entering classrooms, a series of protests, sometimes violent, have spread across the state.
Several state government-run pre-university colleges in India's Karnataka allegedly denied entry to hijab-wearing and burqa-clad students on campus premises on Wednesday.
According to an Indian media report, over 45 girls were denied entry into their classrooms with their headscarves in two colleges in the Shivamogga district.
Similarly, around 20 Muslim women were purportedly barred from entering the Udupi district's G.S. Shankar Women's College for refusing to remove their Muslim headscarves known as "hijabs".
Similar reports erupted from the Udupi, Tumkur, Raichur, and Bellari districts of the state.
In videos shared by social media users, burqa-clad girls can be heard complaining that they were told that entry was permitted inside the campus only if they removed their hijabs or burqas. Most of these students refused to take off their hijabs and staged a protest outside the campus.
Pre-university students protest after they were stopped from entering the campus for refusing to remove their hijabs and burqas in Karnataka's Tumakuru. #HijabBan #KarnatakaHijabControversy pic.twitter.com/tAXv5Ix53e— Priyanka Rudrappa (@PriyankaRudrapa) February 16, 2022
© Photo : Twitter/@PrajwalmanipalHijab-clad student at GS Shankar Women's College.
Hijab-clad student at GS Shankar Women's College.
© Photo : Twitter/@Prajwalmanipal
Students at govt High school #Shimoga #Karnataka refused to remove their #HijabRow. They had an altercation with school authorities to allow them inside. School officials insisted they had to follow HC orders (1/2) pic.twitter.com/FwXAMACCt4— Imran Khan (@KeypadGuerilla) February 16, 2022
Pre-university (equal to high schools) and degree colleges reopened after being shut for a week as the demonstrations over dress codes took a violent turn in some districts.
Meanwhile, the college staff has justified their decision not to let the girls in, saying last week that the state High Court banned the students from wearing religious clothes in classrooms, including Hindu saffron shawls and hijabs.
The hijab row is actually about a classroom-entry ban on hijab-clad students at several pre-university colleges in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. The official reason for the ban was said to be that the hijab violates the uniform rules at these educational institutions.
Following demonstrations by Muslims in several parts of the country, clashes with saffron-clad Hindu students were reported in several places, forcing the state authority in Karnataka to shut down educational institutions for a few days.
Last week, the Karnataka High Court, hearing two petitions against the ban, restrained students from wearing "religious clothes", including the hijab, until it issues a ruling.
The matter was also heard on Wednesday. However, the lawyer representing the state has sought two more days to complete his argument.