‘Why did she provoke?’ Karnataka minister defends saffron-clad bullies

The minister also said that the hijab diktat will remain as per the state order, until the court passes a judgment over the same.

Karnataka education minister BC Nagesh on Wednesday defended the group of saffron-clad boys who heckled a hijabi Muslim while chanting slogans of “Jai Shree Ram” and questioned the Hijabi student as to why she “provoked” them to do so.

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NDTV quoted BC Nagesh on Wednesday as saying, “They did not want to gherao the girl. but when she was shouting… when she was shouting Allah-hu-Akbar, there was not a single student around her. Why she provoked saying Allah-hu-Akbar in a college campus? Can’t encourage “Allah-hu-Akbar’ or ‘Jai Shri Ram’ on campus,”.

While addressing the issue on another occasion, he said that since the matter is being heard in the Karnataka high court the hijab diktat will remain as per the state government’s order, until the court passes a judgment over the same.

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“Since the court has not passed any order to provide interim relief to the students, the Govt notification (with regard to dress code) will continue to remain in effect. Uniform is compulsory for students to attend classes,” said BC Nagesh.

As the hijab row escalated in Karnataka, on Tuesday, videos of a Hijabi student being heckled by a group of saffron-clad students chanting slogans of “Jai Shree Ram” surfaced on social media.

In the video, as the girl who is a student of P. E. S. Engineering college, parks her vehicle and proceeds towards the college, a group of students wearing saffron scarves walk towards her shouting slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” however they were taken aback when the girl countered their attack chanting “Allahu Akbar”.

The Hijab Row

Muslim girls of colleges in Karnataka were asked to shun their Hijab after a group of male students arrived at the college, adorning saffron scarves, in a protest against Muslim girls being allowed to wear headscarves on the college premises.

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 controversy that has been raging since early January, 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, based on the court’s orders.

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