Dakshina Kannada (Karnataka): Mangaluru University Vice-Chancellor Subrahmanya Yadapadithaya made things clear on the Hijab issue that is currently causing an unsettling situation in the coastal district.
The vice-chancellor, speaking to reporters, said that the hijab will not be allowed inside the campus. “Hijab will not be allowed in the library, lab, and campus canteen as well. Students, will after entering the college premises have to remove their hijab in the restroom meant for them,” the vice-chancellor said.
The vice-chancellor further added that if there is any doubt regarding this, the college administration will issue a transfer certificate and the student can look for other institutions to continue their studies.
Earlier in the day, following a statement by the Karnataka Education Minister BC Nagesh that only uniforms are permissible inside the classrooms, authorities at the Mangaluru’s University college sent hijab-clad students back home.
The Muslim girls, enrolled at the university claimed that Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had planned the protest held at the university. In a video shared on Twitter, a girl can be heard demanding the collector to allow them in the university while sporting the hijab.
On May 26, Hindu students protested against their Muslim classmates who wore Hijab. They alleged that the college authorities failed to implement the Karnataka High Court’s verdict that wearing of hijab is not an essential part of Islam.
One of the students speaking in the video says, “There was a PTA meeting where many parents complained to the management of not following the HC’s verdict. But nothing was done. Around 40 Muslim students have been wearing Hijab and they are not stopped by the college management. That’s why we are protesting outside the college campus.”
Background of the hijab row:
The hijab controversy erupted and has been raging since January, after students of a pre-university college in Karnataka’s Udupi were prohibited from wearing headscarves (hijab), as part of their religious obligation, on the college premises. The issue blew up after Hindu students turned up to their colleges wearing saffron scarves in a protest against hijabi Muslims being allowed to wear headscarves.
The state was forced to form a committee to decide on the issue and prohibited the students from wearing any religious garment, including the hijab until a decision is reached.
However, a number of protests by saffron-clad students and Muslims around the state forced the state to shut down schools and colleges for a few days.
The Karnataka high court has been hearing a petition filed by a Hijabi student of a PU college in Udupi, and for a long time did not provide any temporary relief to the students.
Educational institutions that were shut down by the state were directed to reopen ensuring that the state’s diktat, which prevents any religious garment from being worn to the institutions, is strictly adhered to.
As the high court of Karnataka provided no temporary relief up to date, protests in support of the girls have erupted all over the country, and beyond.