Hijab row: Disturbing scenes in Karnataka as students denied entry into colleges

All the above instances of students being denied entry are from today i.e. Thursday, February 17.

Chaos and confusion has loomed over Karnataka since the high court passed an interim order last week over the hijab controversy. The court directed educational institutions in Karnataka to be reopened following the state’s diktat which prohibited hijab.

On February 9, Secretary for Minority Welfare, Haj and Waqf Department Major P. Manivannan stated that the interim order of the full bench of the High Court also applies to residential schools run under the Minority Welfare Department and Moulana Azad Model Schools (English medium).

The dress code vs hijab debate:

The order that was passed on February 10, had specified that the rules are applicable only to those educational institutions, specifically pre-university colleges, where a student dress code or uniform was prescribed by the College Development Committee.

MS Education Academy

However, all educational institutions, even those who do not have a specified dress code had acted upon the court’s orders restricting hijabi students’ entry.

A College Development Committee is a non-statutory body that is bound by a circular, and it is not formed by government order. Hence it had been argued in court that it cannot pass orders or decide over the uniform of the students.

It was also argued that a CDC also comprises ministers affiliated with various political parties which may influence the decision-making process of the committee, however, the court dismissed the arguments and passed the order, restricting all religious garments including hijabs, to maintain “academic standards”.

A number of students from various degree colleges are facing troubles as confusion looms over the court’s order.

UG students suffer as HC’s order misinterpreted:

Hijabi students of PES college in Mandya were threatened by the police with criminal charges, on Wednesday, after they demanded entry. The students attempted to explain to the cops that the education minister had clarified that the court’s order was not applicable to under graduation college students.

The students who had come to collect their hall tickets were stopped by police officials as they attempted to enter the college.

However, the students have now been allowed to write their exams, which were scheduled to take place from today.


Hijabi students of the Government First Grade College in Karnataka’s Kavoor were denied entry on Wednesday following which male students displayed their solidarity with their hijabi classmates and protested alongside the group, demanding that the girls be allowed, as the HC’s order does not apply to degree colleges.

Male students of another government college in Uppinangady set up camp outside their classrooms alongside their Hijabi classmates in protest as the management denied entry into classrooms to students wearing headscarves, misinterpreting the court’s orders.

Students of Shri Siddershwar Government First Grade College in Nargund were also prevented from entering their college.

Female students wearing hijabs at SSRG women’s college in Raichur held a protest and tried to reason with the principal after they were denied entry stating that the HC’s interim order was not applicable to them, however, their pleas went unheard and they were asked to seek permission from the DC for entry.


School students denied entry:

Hijabi students of a school in Chikkamangluru were “thrown out” on Thursday after they insisted that they would not attend classes without hijab.

Large police personnel was also deployed at the school, to ensure that the situation did not escalate as the young girls protested.


Protestors detained:

Boys protesting against the state’s hijab diktat and demanding that hijabi women and girls be allowed entry into educational institutions in Belgavi were detained by the police on Wednesday.


(Note: All the above instances of students being denied entry are from today i.e. Thursday, February 17.)

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