Protests erupt against Hijab diktat in various parts of Karnataka

The Karnataka high court is scheduled to hear a plea, filed by a Muslim student, over the issue on February 8 following which the government will take a call over uniforms for pre-university colleges in the state.

A large number of protests have erupted in various districts of Karnataka in solidarity with Muslim girls in the state who have been barred from entering their college premises, stripping away their right to education, as they choose to adorn their headscarves against the state’s diktat.

Although students have now been allowed into the premises of the college, they have been seated in a separate classroom and will not be attended to unless they adhere to the new diktat or the state passes an order based on the high court’s ruling over the issue, the hearing for which is scheduled to take place on February 8.

The controversy that has been raging since early January began when Muslim girls of colleges in northern Karnataka were asked to shun their hijab after a group of male students arrived at the colleges, adorning saffron scarves, in a protest against girls being allowed to wear headscarves on the college premises.

MS Education Academy

The state education administration has sought a ban on the wearing of hijab by the school students on the grounds that it “disturbs harmony” and the uniforms’ guidelines be strictly enforced.

Protests have erupted in various districts and parts of Karnataka including Hassan, Shahpur in Yadadri, Belgavi, Haveri, Bhadravati in Shivamogga, Mandya, Raichur, Vijayanagar, and Chamarajpet and Hoskote in Bangalore.

Protest by Congress in Kalaburagi

The Congress Party leader Kaneez Fatima along with her supporters protested outside the Kalaburagi District Collector’s office on Saturday amid the raging hijab controversy.

Protests led by Congress leader Kaneez Fatima in Kalaburagi on Saturday (Photo: Twitter)

Protest by AIMIM in Belagavi

The All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen’s Karnataka chapter held a protest in the state’s Belagavi district on Monday and raised slogans of ‘RSS murdabad’.

AIMIM held a protest in Belgavi, Karnataka (Photo: Twitter)

Protest by SFI in Haveri

The Student Federation of India (SFI) also staged a protest in Haveri and raised slogans of Hindu-Muslim unity in solidarity with the Muslims against the Hijab diktat

The SFI staged a protest in Haveri, Karnataka (Photo: Twitter)

Protest in Shivamogga

A large number of Muslim women also gathered at the office of the Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate in Shivamogga to support the cause.

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Protest in front of the Deputy Commissioner and District Magistrate’s office in Shivamogga, Karnataka. (Photo: Twitter)

Protest in Mandya

Protest in Mandya district in Karnataka (Photo: Twitter)

Protest in Raichur

Protests in Raichur, Karnataka (Photo: Twitter)

The controversy has forced the state to call for a committee to look into the matter and take a call on pre-university college uniforms across the state.

The state had directed students, of all colleges, to shun the Hijab until the report of the high-level committee formed in this regard is submitted.

Although the rule book of a college suggested that girls are allowed to wear Hijabs on the premises of the institution, the management recently prohibited the girls from covering their heads, following the diktat of the state government.

The ‘saffron fever’ has now spread to a large number of districts in Karnataka, including Hassan, Chickmanglur, and Belagavi. Apart from Kundapura, Hindu students of PU colleges in Udupi’s Bhandarkar and Byandoor adorned saffron in protest against girls adorning Hijab.

The state awaits the high court’s order on the issue based on a writ petition filed by a Muslim student demanding seeking a declaration that wearing a hijab (headscarf) is a Fundamental Right guaranteed under Article 14 and 25 of the Constitution of India as it is an essential practice of Islam. The hearing for the same is scheduled to take place on February 8.

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