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Hijab row: SC delivers split judgement, matter to be placed before CJI

Karnataka: School students come in Hijabs, violate HC’s interim order

February 14, 2022
-Reshma Ravishanker
In violation of an interim order by the Karnataka High Court, students in some schools across Karnataka wore hijabs to schools on Monday only to be sent back by school managements later. 
 
Holiday was declared for schools from Wednesday last week over the Hijab controversy and students returned to in-person classes on Monday. The Karnataka High Court in its interim order on Friday mandated that no student should wear religious attire to educational institutions until a final order on the same is pronounced. 
 
On Monday, a group of 13 girls from Karnataka Public School in Shivamogga wore Hijab to school, only to be stopped by authorities at the gate. These students also missed their preparatory exams over the Hijab controversy after refusing to take off the Hijab to enter classrooms.   
 
“Religion is more important than academics. If need be, we could miss school but hijab is a must” said one of the girls, talking to a television channel. 
 
In Raichur, a similar controversy began at the Maulana Azad English Medium School where students came to the school premises with burqa while the management denied entry. Police later arrived at the spot  and intervened after an argument persisted between school authorities and students.  
 
Meanwhile, in Udupi district from where the controversy originated, a peace keeping meeting was organised by the local MLA, Raghupathi Bhat over the weekend. 
 
He also visited the girls PU college where the six girls have been denied permission to attend classes from December 2021 onwards. 
 
“The other students have requested us to commence classes at the earliest and said that they will maintain peace and calm. Some other muslim girls have also requested us that they do not want to miss class because of the six girls. If the situation turns better, based on the chief minister’s decision, we will commence classes. 
 
“There is enough proof to show that this is politically motivated. Like most people claim, I am not responsible for the controversy growing out of proportion. These girls have attended classes without hijabs previously. If need be, I will present documentation and proof in the ongoing assembly for the opposition leaders to witness. CCTV camera footage and pictures will also be presented before the court,” Bhat said. 

AIMIM reacts 

At the Rotary educational society in Mandya, a girl child student was asked to remove her hijab before entering the campus. In a two minute video that is circulated on social media, a man accompanying another older girl is seen arguing with the teacher.

Responding to this, Hyderabad-based All India Majli-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted that this was denial of fundamental rights. In the same institute a woman teacher wearing Burqa removed the same at the entrance while coming into the campus.

 

High Court hearing: 

The Karnataka High Court which has been hearing the matter asked that the petitioners’ advocate put forth an explanation regarding the recent Government order asking that students wear uniform as prescribed. The chief justice sought to know why the order was objectionable and what the contentions were. The court has put forth the hearing to 2.30 pm on Tuesday.  

Contradicting statements

Karnataka Congress MLA Zameer Ahmed courted controversy on Sunday saying that the rape rates in India were high as women did not wear Hijab. He was speaking at an event in Hubballi district in Karnataka. “Hijab is used to hide a woman’s beauty… I think India has the highest rape rate because women are not inside purdahs,” he said.

 Responding to his colleague, Karnataka’s congress leader and KPCC president DK Shivakumar said, “I do not stand by his remarks. We will ask him to withdraw that statement and tender an apology.” 

 
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