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No class 12 re-exam for hundreds of students who boycotted practical exams demanding Hijab in their institutions: Details

Earlier, the government had hinted that they may give these students another chance to appear for the examinations. However, on Sunday, the government clarified that the students marked absent during the examinations will not get another chance.

Hundreds of pre-university II (PU II) students who had boycotted practical examinations in Karnataka will not get another chance to appear in the exams, according to a Times of India report. In Karnataka, class 12 is called PU II. They had boycotted these exams demanding hijab to be allowed inside the classrooms of their institutes.

Earlier, the government had hinted that they may give these students another chance to appear for the examinations. However, on Sunday, the government clarified that the students marked absent during the examinations will not get another chance.

Making the government stand clear, primary and secondary education minister BC Nagesh said, “How can we even consider the possibility? If we allow students who boycotted the practicals for not being allowed to wear hijab to the exam even after the high court gave its interim order, then another student will come citing some other reason and seek a second chance.”

Practical exams carry a weightage of 30 marks out of the total 100 marks in board exams in Karnataka, with the balance 70 for the theory exams.

The Hijab row started in Karnataka in early February as some students insisted on wearing hijab inside the classrooms, against the uniform rules in their institutes. The row escalated to become worldwide news with troublesome neighbour Pakistan even trying to start a diplomatic row over it.

Several write petitions were filed in the court demanding hijab inside the classrooms against the uniform rules in the educational institutes. However, last week, Karnataka high court held that the hijab is not an essential religious practice and dismissed all such petitions.

Hijab row

The hijab controversy in Karnataka gained momentum since the first week of January after eight Muslim girls were denied entry to classes in a Udupi college because they were wearing hijab. The college authorities had informed that the hijab was not a part of the uniform dress code mandated for the students. 

The Muslim girls, adamant about wearing hijab, then filed a petition in High Court seeking permission to attend classes with hijab. They stated that wearing the hijab was their ‘fundamental right’ granted under Articles 14 and 25 of the Indian Constitution and ‘integral practice of Islam’.

The controversy spiralled as Hindu students in Karnataka styled with saffron scarves around their necks and protested against Muslim girls continuing to wear hijab to the college. Tensions also prevailed at some educational institutions in Udupi, Shivamogga, Bagalkote, and other parts, as stones-pelting and violence were reported from various parts of the state.

As reported earlier, the students had begun to wear hijab to schools and colleges after they had met the Campus Front of India (CFI), the student branch of the Islamist organization Popular Front of India (PFI), in October 2021. The students confessed that they had spoken with the CFI.

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