FIR against 20 students in Karnataka over hijab row

Wednesday 23rd February 2022 06:10 EST

Bengaluru/Mysuru: In the first punitive action against students seeking entry into colleges despite the interim order of Karnataka high court banning hijabs, saffron shawls or any religious clothing inside classrooms in institutes that prescribe a uniform, police lodged an FIR against about 20 students of a Tumakuru college on charges of violating prohibitory orders.

A private college in Mysuru city cancelled its uniform rule to allow Muslim students to attend classes with the hijab. It is the first college in the state to take such a decision. “Four students refused to attend classes without the hijab and were protesting,” said DK Srinivasa Murthy, DDPU, Mysuru. “Some organisations extended support to them. I visited the college today and held discussions with all. Meanwhile, the college announced that it is cancelling its uniform rule to allow the students to attend classes.”

The first FIR follows a warning by Karnataka home minister Araga Jnanendra, who has said there would be “no soft approach” anymore and directed cops to take action against those who flout the interim order. The principal of Empress College in Tumakuru, about 70 km from Bengaluru, lodged a complaint with Tumakuru City police against the students for violating prohibitory orders in the past two days.
The students, demanding their right to attend classes wearing hijabs, created a ruckus in the college while staging a protest. In Kodagu Muslim male students at Field Marshal KM Cariappa College in Madikeri said they won’t enter the campus until girls wearing hijabs are allowed inside.

More than 1,000 students boycotted schools and colleges in Udupi, Mysuru, Belagavi, Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga, Mangaluru, Kodagu, Dharwad, Vijayapura and a few other districts of the state. There were no untoward incidents, with schools and colleges covered by extensive police security. In some districts, prohibitory orders were clamped around educational institutions. In several places, students were stopped at the entrances to colleges and asked to remove their hijabs. That led to heated arguments between students and school and college staff. Efforts of college managements and teaching staff to convince the students about the Karnataka high court’s interim order did not yield any result. In many places, police intervened to bring the situation under control.

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