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Karnataka: Staff suspended for allowing Hijab clad girls in exam hall

March 29, 2022
Reshma Ravishanker 

Staff on examination duty at a school in Karnataka’s Gadag district have been suspended for allowing students to appear for Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) exams wearing Hijabs. 

The incident took place on March 28, Monday, the day when the SSLC (class 10 state board exams) commenced across the state. Students appeared for the exam, wearing a hijab in Sri CS Patil Girls and Boys High School. 
Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI), in an official notice, has ordered suspension of the two Chief Superintendents, KB Bhajantri and BS Honagudi who were on duty at the exam centre. The other five teachers who were suspended are SU Hokkala, SM Pattara, SG Godke, SS Gujamagadi and VN Kivudar. The suspension has been made, pending an enquiry by the department during which time, the two teachers will not appear for duty.
The issue was taken up by the DDPI after television chanels reported the incident and acted as per provisions under the Karnataka Civil Services Rules 1957 and suspended the staff. 
Following the high court ruling that wearing a hijab was not essential religious practice under Islam, the state government had asked students to adhere to the dress code and wear uniforms prescribed by the School Development Monitoring Committees or school managements. 
Even on March 26, the state issued an order, reminding students to wear uniform to attend SSLC exams (in the wake of the high court order in the hijab row case) failing which they would not be allowed to enter exam halls. 
Incidents of students voluntarily taking off Hijab while entering exam halls was seen on day one of the exam which was largely peaceful. 
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