Even as the Karnataka High Court hears arguments on whether to allow or not allow religious clothes in educational institutions, another government college in the state has now turned into a site of protest for sending away students who insisted on wearing the hijab in the classroom.
The Government PU college at Vijayapura in north Karnataka allowed hijabs earlier. However, it did not allow students wearing hijabs to enter today’s classrooms.
The college administration said that they were only following interim orders of the High court, which had allowed schools and colleges to resume only on the condition that no religious clothing would be allowed in the educational premises.
The students, however, argued that the college did not inform them that they would not be allowed in hijabs or burkhas.
The Principal had stopped these students at the college entrance. Still, they forced their way in and protested against being denied entry.
Students were seen arguing with the teacher and the school’s Principal after entering the classroom in hijabs and burkhas. But, the college said that they would not go against the order of the High Court.
A separate space inside the college was allotted to these students to take off their hijabs and burkhas and enter the classrooms.
After they were asked to leave, the students protested by raising slogans of “we want justice” and expressing their anguish to the media present at the spot.
On February 14, students at some Karnataka schools were directed to remove their hijabs before entering the campus, following an interim order of the High Court that said educational institutions could re-open, but no religious clothing would be allowed.
Videos of women being asked to remove their religious clothing in the open had caused a massive outcry on social media, with many calling it a humiliating experience.
In December, the controversy began when six Muslim students were barred from wearing the hijab from Karnataka’s Udupi district voiced their concerns.
Since then, it has snowballed into a significant matter, with the Supreme Court also being approached.
However, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said: “We will interfere only at an appropriate time.”