The row raging over the hijab in Karnataka appears to have touched the state of Bihar. As per a video doing rounds on social media, a woman was allegedly told to take off her hijab at the bank when she went to collect money. Reports suggest the incident is from Begusarai district’s UCO Bank.
The over two-minute-long video, shared by journalist Meer Faisal on Twitter, was recorded by the woman who faced the alleged hostility. The men she points her camera at are heard repeatedly asking for the recording to be stopped but she refuses, saying she will capture the incident and upload it to Facebook.
“I will take the money and go,” she says.
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A man who is reportedly the woman’s father is heard explaining the situation to a bystander in the viral clip. He says she comes to the bank every month and collects the money for him and until now, there had been no issue over what she wore. “Tum hijab kholo toh paisa denge,” the man claims the bank officials said.
A report by news agency IANS claims the woman in question was clad in a burqa.
The father is further heard asking the bank employees for an official notification backing their demands over the woman’s hijab.
“If any such thing has been implemented in Karnataka, why are they implementing it in Bihar?” the man asks.
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Responding to the controversy, the UCO Bank from its official Twitter account, wrote, “Bank respects the religious sentiments of the Citizens and does not discriminate its Esteemed Customers on basis of Cast or Religion. Bank is checking the facts on this issue.”
Karnataka, meanwhile, is simmering with communal tension. For the past few weeks, some groups of girls have been fighting for permission to sit inside college classrooms with their hijabs on. The row that began in Udupi has spread into other areas as well, with multiple colleges reportedly impressing on the need for uniform outfits on campus. The Karnataka High Court is presently hearing the matter. Follow here.