The police on Sunday said they have arrested two persons carrying ‘lethal weapons’ near the Government PU College in Kundapur under Udupi district. Notably, a section of Muslim students in the college staged a protest on Friday against the decision of the authorities to ban the hijab (head scarf) on the campus.
The arrestees have been identified as Abdul Majeed (32) and Rajab (41). Both the accused hail from Gangolli, a village near Kundapur.
The district police said that five persons were carrying ‘lethal weapons’ and among them, three managed to flee from the spot. A case has been registered with the Kundapur police station.
Meanwhile, students of Government PU College in Kundapur and Bhandkarkar’s College have submitted a memorandum to Additional Deputy Commissioner Sadashiva Prabhu requesting him to allow them inside classrooms wearing hijab.
Meanwhile, clearing his position on the hijab controversy, Former chief minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy said the row has been provoked by a few political outfits. “In schools and colleges where students were already wearing the hijab, let them continue to do so. But don’t allow them to wear the hijab in colleges where the demand for wearing it has been raised only recently,” he said.
Without naming any outfit, he said, “A few small political outfits from the Muslim community are involved in generating this controversy. At a time when more and more Muslim women are getting educated, these people are trying to create problems.”
He also said that the whole controversy was more than a Hindu-Muslim issue. The students are being communalised and these issues have been raised conveniently in the run up to the state polls, Kumaraswamy said.
Notably, Princess Hend bint Faisal Al-Qasimi of the United Arab Emirates, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Siddaramaiah, and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti, among others, have supported the demand of students protesting against the ban on the hijab.
The state government had issued a circular on Saturday stating that school and college development committees comprising parents, teachers and elected representatives will take a decision on the uniform issue. The government had also invoked “Section 133(2) of the Karnataka Education Act-1983, which says a uniform style of clothes has to be worn compulsorily” in its circular.
The order added, “Clothes which disturb equality, integrity and public law and order should not be worn.”
Private school and college authorities can choose a uniform of their choice, the government had said.
The hijab case is scheduled to be heard by the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday.