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Hijab row in Karnataka’s Gadag district. Students stay out of class

February 15, 2022
-Reshma Ravishanker

Students at a Government Urdu School in Karnataka’s Gadag district staged a protest in front of the school along with their over the Hijab row claiming that the school denied entry with hijabs on.

Several students who were seated in classrooms on Tuesday were asked to come out and stood in protest asking that they be allowed to wear Hijab.

In a viral video, one woman, seemingly a parent of one of the students barges into various classes, some, where a teacher was present and ordered students to come out and protest following which students and parents gathered in large numbers sloganeering near the schools.

Meanwhile, several parents also took their students home as they did not wish to be involved in the protest

“Hijab is what is important for me not school” one of the protesting girls is heard shouting in the video.

The students claimed that authorities restricted their entry into classrooms, and they were asked to remove their hijabs at the entrance of the school. However, the video has these students sitting inside classrooms with their hijab on.

Responding to the incident, the principal of the school said, “After we announced that we are not allowed to let students wear hijab in classrooms, parents staged a protest and took their children home. We requested the parents to wait for the HC decision. No student was asked to leave the classroom. Children removed the hijabs at the entrance. We have no issues with them. It is the parents who are instigating them.”

Meanwhile, even as the matter is pending before the Karnataka High Court, the education department has announced the reopening of pre-university and degree colleges across the state from February 16. Students, however, as per the interim verdict of the court will not be allowed to wear any attire of religious significance or carry flags into the institutes. After a meeting with home minister Araga Jnanendra and chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, primary and secondary education minister BC Nagesh said that colleges will reopen with adequate police protection.

Demonstration

In Kodagu, 35 students staged a demonstration in front of a school for being denied permission to enter the campus wearing hijab on Tuesday.

Exams skipped

Over 80 students in schools in Kalaburagi skipped class 10 preparatory examinations on Tuesday after being denied entry following the hijab row. This comes a day after 13 students in a Shivamogga school also missed exams.

Misread order?

VP Niranjanaradhya, Senior Fellow and Programme Head, Universalization of Equitable Quality Education Programme, NLSUI and Gurumurthy K of the IT For Change have written a letter to the commissioner of the department of public instruction that the high-court’s interim order has been misinterpreted.

“The HC has issued an interim order which restrains the wearing of head-scarves and any other religious symbols during the pendency of the case. Point 11 of the interim order says, “11. We make it clear that this order is confined to such of the institutions wherein the College Development Committees have prescribed the student dress code/uniform. However, we note with distress, that institutions which did not have such a rule preventing head-scarves earlier, and district administrations are imposing such a ban post the interim order, believing that the order forbids such wearing, in institutions across the state,” the letter reads. 

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