Karnataka government hijab ban continues as they issue a new order in the purview of upcoming class 12 board exams. State Education Minister BC Nagesh announced on April 19 that students wearing hijabs won’t be allowed to write Grade 12 board exams. "All students must follow rules on the uniform, hijab cladding students won't be allowed," he added. This statement comes as women continue to protest and demand to be allowed to wear hijabs while writing examinations.
Speaking to the media, the minister said that anyone including teachers, students, invigilators and non-teaching staff will not be allowed to wear hijabs. The rule will be applicable to all institutions including private ones, Minister BC Nagesh added.
A Muslim woman student appealed to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai a little while ago to allow a section of students appear for the class 12 board exams wearing hijabs. She wrote in her tweet, "You still have a chance to stop our future from getting ruined. You can make a decision to allow us to write exams wearing hijab. Please consider this. We are the future of this country."
The Karnataka government had issued similar order before the recently-concluded Class 10 Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) exams. The Class 12 board exams are scheduled to begin on April 22 and go on until May 18 in the state. As many as 6,84,255 students have enrolled for the examinations, stated an official release from the Department of Pre-University Education.
After the hijab controversy erupted in a Udupi pre-university college and spread across the state leading to protests by Muslim women as well as extreme-right fringe groups. Six women had filed a petition with Karnataka High Court seeking a lift on the ban on wearing hijab in classrooms.
Karnataka High Court Special Bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi has dismissed the petition by students seeking permission to wear hijab in classrooms, noting that wearing of hijab is not an essential practice of Islam.
The Karnataka government conducted SSLC exams with heavy police cover and banned the hijab in exam centres. The education department has sought police security cover for all the examination centres and all work will be carried out in the presence of police security. The 200-meter zone surrounding the exam centres would be declared a prohibited zone.