Hijab verdict: Udupi student-petitioners, Muslim girls in Shivamogga skip classes


PTI, Mar 16, 2022, 2:03 PM IST

The six Muslim girl students of the Government Pre University Girls College in the coastal town of Udupi did not turn up for classes on Wednesday, a day after their petition seeking permission to wear hijab inside classrooms was dismissed by the Karnataka High Court.

In its 129-page order the High Court had held that Hijab is not an Essential Religious Practice and upheld the Karnataka Government’s order banning the use of any cloth on the campus that could disturb peace, harmony and public order. The girls stuck to their stand that they will not enter the college without the headscarf and would fight the case legally.

They were absent when the preparatory exams of the second pre-university classes were going on. In Kamala Nehru College in Shivamogga, which had seen disturbances over the Hijab row earlier, 15 girls returned home saying that they will not enter college without wearing hijab. It was in this district headquarters town that a Bajrang Dal activist was hacked to death recently, leading to tension.

The 15 girls arrived with burqa and hijab but the college management barred entry, and they decided not to attend classes. One of them told reporters that hijab was their religious right and identity and they cannot enter the college without it. ”Today was the last day to submit our assignments but we are not allowed inside the class. We requested them (college authorities) to allow us but the college said the court order has to be followed. It is not the fault of principal or the teachers. Actually we did not get justice,” another girl said.

Meanwhile, in Muslim-dominated Bhatkal town in Uttara Kannada district, a section of traders observed Bandh to ”lodge their dissatisfaction” over the Karnataka High Court order. The Burma Bazaar, Main Road, Madina Colony and Navayat Colony in Bhatkal wore deserted look. Karnataka Higher Education Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan said the government will not succumb to any threat from those ”who wanted the High Court order pertaining to hijab in their favour” ”We have to understand that we are Indians and Kannadigas first. The adamant posture of the girls that the order should have been in their favour is not proper. Our government will not succumb to any threats,” Narayan told reporters in Magadi in Ramanagara district.

Meanwhile, Sriram Sena chief Pramod Muthalik said his organisation is approaching the High Court seeking contempt of court proceedings against the Campus Front of India leader Attaullah Punjalkate. ”We have decided today in Dharwad that we will seek contempt of court proceedings against Attaullah for calling the court order unconstitutional,” Muthalik said.

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