Hijab Row: Official Twitter Handle Of BJP K’taka Publishes Details Of Minor Petitioners

Iran Women Burns Hijab Cuts Hair
While the hearing of the hijab row matter was underway in the Karnataka High Court, the official BJP Karnataka Twitter handle Tuesday published details of the female petitioners. Outrage erupted on social media with opposition party members criticising the BJP for doxxing minor girls.

The sensitive information is contained in print, photos of which were shared from the official handle of the ruling party a little after noon on February 15. As of 4 PM the same day, the post exists as is, without the microblogging website having taken it down. Many netizens are reporting the tweet claiming it violates the law.

“Five of the students involved in #HijabRow are minors. Don’t CONgress leaders Sonia, Rahul & Priyanka have any guilt for using minor girls to stay relevant in politics? How low will they stoop to win elections? Is this what “ladki hoo lad sakti hoon” means, @priyankagandhi?” BJP Karnataka’s tweet reads.

Suggested Reading: Why Are Indian Muslims Constantly Questioned For Their Religious Identity

Under section 21 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 that safeguards the right of children under the age of 18 in India, the disclosure of sensitive information such as the name or other particulars of minors is prohibited.

“No report in any newspaper, magazine, news-sheet or visual media of any inquiry regarding a juvenile in conflict with law or a child in need of care and protection under this Act shall disclose the name, address or school or any other particulars calculated to lead to the identification of the juvenile or child nor shall any picture of any such juvenile or child be published,” the law reads.

Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi called the attention of child rights body National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), DGP Karnataka, Twitter India and the IT Ministry to BJP’s tweet. “Shameless @BJP4Karnataka tweets the addresses of the minor girls in order to attack the opposition. Do you’ll realise how insensitive, sick and pathetic this is?” she wrote.

Suggested Reading: Communal Faceoff: Is Karnataka Hijab Row Normalising Street Harassment Of Girls?

This escalation comes amid Karnataka heating up with the hijab, a piece of headscarf worn by many Muslim women, at the centre of the controversy. For several weeks now, groups of girls across the state claim to have been disallowed from sitting in classes with their headscarves on. College authorities, on the other hand, claim the hijab is not part of the uniform.

The row has created a communal divide between students, with visuals streaming in of Hindu students donning saffron scarves to colleges in Karnataka in protest of the hijab. State government authorities have ordered a ban on religious symbols on campus that seek to disrupt public law and order. Follow the case here.