Another college in India denies students entry for wearing hijab

Decision comes after Hindu students take out protest, wearing saffron shawls, against allowing to wear hijab

News Desk February 04, 2022
For over a month now six students at the government pre-university college in Udupi have not been allowed to enter classes for wearing hijab. PHOTO: COURTESY/HT

As Hindu right-wing extremism rises in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's India, as many as 27 Muslims were denied entry to the college for wearing hijab on Thursday in Karnataka even though the state government did not issue any uniform code for pre-university colleges.

According to a report published by the Hindustan Times, the decision was taken after more than 100 students at the college took out a protest, wearing saffron shawls, against allowing Muslim students to wear hijab.

The report stated that when the principal asked the students to remove their hijab and attend classes, an argument ensued with the students pointing out that there is no government order banning the hijab in Kundapur government college.

Read more: Activists decry headscarf ban in Indian state

The principal of the college, Ramakrishna, said that he was acting based on the direction of the college development committee president and Kundapur BJP MLA Halady Srinivas Shetty. The principal said that Shetty directed him not to allow any sort of additional attire other than the specified uniform.

For over a month now six students at the government pre-university college in Udupi have not been allowed to enter classes for wearing hijab.

The incident in Kundapur is the fifth incident of religious intolerance in the educational institution since December 28, last year. Apart from the two colleges that denied entry to the Muslim students, protests have been held in two other colleges against hijabs and in one school the principal was suspended after students allegedly offered Friday prayer in school.

Also read: Hardline Indian group allied with Modi calls for ban on face veil

On January 6, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members from Pompei College in Mangaluru wore saffron scarves inside the college premises to protest students who wear the hijab inside the college. A similar protest was held at a government college in Balagadi Chikkamagaluru on January 10.

According to the report, the controversy has already reached the courts. A Muslim student on Monday filed a writ petition in Karnataka high court, challenging the decision of the Government Pre-University College in Udupi to bar six students from attending classes for wearing hijab.

The petition was filed by one of the six students through a lawyer. In the petition, the student argued that wearing a hijab is a fundamental right guaranteed under Articles 14 and 25 of the Constitution of India and is essential for practising her religion.

The petition is scheduled for hearing on February 8.

Indian Muslims have witnessed a deterioration of the right to practice faith under the rule of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his right-wing BJP.


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