In a recent development in the Udupi college hijab controversy, the Karnataka High Court agreed to hear a plea arguing that Muslim women wearing hijab should be permitted to attend classes. A Muslim student has filed a plea in the Karnataka High Court, asking for a direction to allow wearing a hijab in college, stating that it is her “Fundamental Right” granted under Article 14 and 25 of the Indian Constitution and “integral practise of Islam”.
The disciplinary action taken by the Government-run Pre-University (PU) Institution for Girls in Udupi district, which has refused her entry into the college on the sole basis of wearing a hijab, has offended the Muslim girl student. The Karnataka High Court will hear the writ petition filed by the Muslim girl on February 8.
The move comes as the Hijab controversy in a college in Udupi, Karnataka, shows no signs of stopping. The controversy began earlier in January when several Muslim students were denied entry to classes because they wore hijab. Because the females refused to remove their Hijabs when requested by the other students, several boys chose to come to campus wearing saffron scarves. All of them were denied entry because their attire was different from the regular uniform allowed in the institution.
Following the uproar, Kundapur MLA Haladi Srinivas Shetty and the school administration met with Muslim parents, but the problem could not be addressed since the parents refused to allow their children to attend the college without wearing the hijab. The parents stated that Muslim girls have the right to wear hijab in college.
In videos shared by media portals earlier, Muslim ‘students’ covered in full-body black burqa were seen arguing with the college authorities against the hijab ban. On February 4, a group of students wearing hijabs were seen arguing with some staffers from the college, asking to allow them inside.
BC Nagesh, the state’s education minister, has backed college authorities who say both saffron scarves and headscarves should be banned on campuses. He also stated that this issue has come up recently and nothing of this sort happened earlier. “They were not wearing the hijab earlier & this problem started only 20 days ago,” State Education Minister BC Nagesh reportedly said.
#WATCH | Students wearing hijab denied entry to Govt PU College in Kundapur area of Udupi, Karnataka amid a row on wearing the headscarf in classrooms— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2022
“They were not wearing the hijab earlier & this problem started only 20 days ago,” State Education Minister BC Nagesh has said. pic.twitter.com/3pT418rb0y
The issue has been simmering since early January, prompting the state to convene a committee to investigate the situation and make a decision on pre-university college uniforms across the state. In accordance with the new state standards, management has requested that female students refrain from wearing hijab while attending college and wear the prescribed college uniform.