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  4. Hijab controversy: Hijab not essential practice in Islam, govt tells Karnataka HC

Hijab controversy: Hijab not essential practice in Islam, govt tells Karnataka HC

The hijab row which started last month in Udupi Pre-University College by six girl students has snowballed into a major controversy in the country.

India TV News Desk Written by: India TV News Desk Bengaluru Updated on: February 18, 2022 16:57 IST
Students leave after they were not allowed to attend
Image Source : PTI

Students leave after they were not allowed to attend classes while wearing Hijab, at Dr G Shankar Government Womens First Grade College in Udupi, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022.

Highlights

  • The Hijab ban issue has refused to die down as Muslim girls are adamant on wearing hijab to college
  • Petitioners argue that ban on Hijab violates right to freedom of religion enshrined in Constitution
  • The hijab row which started last month in Udupi has now snowballed into a major controversy

Amid a raging controversy over Hijab, the Karnataka government on Friday told the High Court that the headscarf does not come under the essential religious practices in Islam. Karnataka High Court has adjourned for February 21 the hearing on petitions challenging the ban on hijab in educational institutes.

"The state government has ordered that the students should wear uniforms prescribed by colleges. The state government does not want to intervene in religious matters," the Advocate General told the full bench of the Karnataka High Court hearing the case related to hijab row in educational institutions.

The High Court is hearing a battery of petitions against a government order banning Hijab in schools and colleges. The full bench of the High Court comprises Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice JM Khazi which took up the case last week after a single bench referred the case to Chief Justice citing constitutional questions.

Meanwhile, the bench has declined a plea to restrain live streaming of proceedings. As soon as the proceedings began, senior advocate Prof Ravi Varma Kumar, representing Muslim girls questioning the ban on wearing hijab in classrooms, claimed that live streaming was causing a lot of unrest in the society as the observations were taken out of context.

According to him, the live streaming has become "counterproductive and children were put to hardship". However, Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi said: "Let the people understand what is the stand of the respondents also."

As a few more fresh petitions were filed, Justice Awasthi requested the petitioners that the counsels for the fresh petitions can take only 10 minutes so that respondents can also be heard.

The row over Hijab started when a few students of a government pre-university college in Udupi, attending classes in headscarves, were asked to leave the campus. The matter then spread to different parts of the state, with other community students responding by wearing saffron scarves.

Last week, the High Court in its interim order restrained all the students from wearing saffron shawls, scarves, hijab and any religious flag within the classroom.  

READ MORE: Disallowing hijab amounts to banning Quran, petitioners tell Karnataka HC

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