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Karnataka Hijab ban: High Court says it 'will follow Constitution, not emotions'

The hijab row in Karnataka intensified with some students seeking to defy the government order mandating uniform style of clothes.

India TV News Desk Written by: India TV News Desk Bengaluru Updated on: February 08, 2022 15:21 IST
Students wearing hijab who were denied entry, outside IDSG
Image Source : PTI

Students wearing hijab who were denied entry, outside IDSG Government College in Chikmagalur, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

Highlights

  • The Hijab ban issue has refused to die down as Muslim girls are adamant on wearing hijab to college
  • Muslim girls argue that ban on Hijab violates right to freedom of religion enshrined in Constitution
  • While BJP has stood in support of uniform rules, Congress has come out in support of Muslim girls

Karnataka High Court on Tuesday said that it will abide by the Constitution while hearing a petition challenging the hijab ban in several colleges in the state and not get swayed by passions or emotions.

Justice Krishna Dixit said that “Constitution is the Bhagavad Gita for me", according to Live Law. “I have taken the oath to abide by the Constitution. Let’s keep the emotions aside,” Justice Dixit said.

A petition has been filed in the HC by five girls from Udupi’s government junior college. They have questioned the restriction on wearing hijab in college. They said that the ban violates the right to freedom of religion enshrined in Article 25 of the Constitution.

During the hearing today, the Advocate General told the High Court that autonomy is given to colleges to decide uniforms. The Advocate General also said that students who want relaxation shall approach the College Development Committee.

Senior Advocate Devdutt Kamat, who represented the petitioner, argued that wearing a headscarf is an essential part of Muslim culture.

The state government had on February 5 issued an order making uniforms prescribed by it or managements of private institutions mandatory for its students at schools and pre-university colleges in the state.

The issue has refused to die down across the state as a section of Muslim girls are adamant on wearing hijab to college, while the state government has cracked the whip making uniforms mandatory for students attending classes in educational institutions.

There have been several instances during the last few days where some Muslim girl students, turning up in hijab, were not being allowed into classes, and Hindu boys responding with saffron shawls, also being barred from classes.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed at the MGM college at Manipal in Udupi after two groups of students wearing hijabs and saffron shawls raised slogans against each other on the campus on Tuesday. A group of girl students of the college wearing burqas and hijab entered the college and held a protest in the premises raising slogans in favour of the right to wear hijab.

Boys and girls wearing saffron shawls also came to the college and raised slogans in retaliation. The college gate was locked by the staff, while both groups of students waited near the gate.

College principal Devidas Nayak and the teaching staff tried to convince the students, but both sides refused to relent. A large posse of the policemen are present at the spot. The student groups are raising slogans like 'we want justice' and 'Vande Mataram.' The college management is holding talks with the district administration.

READ MORE: Two held with 'lethal weapons' in Udupi near students' protest site over Hijab ban

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