Updated: February 2, 2022 9:17:58 am
A student of Karnataka’s Udupi college, which again on Tuesday denied entry in classes to students wearing hijab, has moved the Karnataka high court seeking the right to wear headscarves inside the classroom.
The writ petition, filed on behalf of the student Resham Farooq, said the students’ right to wear a hijab is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 14 and 25 of the Constitution and is an essential practice of Islam. The state of Karnataka is among the respondents named in the petition.
Separately on Tuesday, the Government Women’s Pre-University College in Udupi did not allow six students who were wearing a hijab into their classes. The college was reopening weeks after a Covid-19 outbreak in the institute.
The row began earlier this month, when seven Muslim students were denied entry into the classes for wearing headscarves. They spent nearly a month outside the college before the institute closed down for weeks after some students tested positive for Covid-19.
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The college had said it was it was enforcing the ban on hijab to maintain “uniformity”.
The decision has since prompted both criticism and support from political leaders and outfits.
Udupi legislator and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader K Raghupathi Bhat said on Monday that students need not come to class if they are wearing headscarves. He said, “We met the parents of the girls (denied entry) and told them — if they have decided that to wear hijab inside the classroom, they don’t need to come. It has polluted the atmosphere of the college.”
The Campus Front of India (CFI), however, said it will continue to fight for the rights of the Muslim students.
With the controversy raging since early January, the Karnataka education department this month directed a committee to form guidelines for Pre-University College uniforms across the state. The department, in the January 25 circular, also asked colleges to maintain status-quo until then.
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