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Supreme Court Says “No” To Urgent Hearing In Karnataka Hijab Row

Students wearing hijab denied entry, Karnataka PU Exam
After the Karnataka High Court asked the students not to insist on wearing any religious clothes to educational institution campuses until the matter is resolved, an appeal was filed by a student at the Supreme Court of India for an urgent hearing in the matter. The plea challenged this interim order by the high court on the matter of wearing hijab to the educational institutions. The plea was however rejected by the Supreme Court.

The appeal at Supreme Court called HC’s order preventing students from wearing religious clothing at colleges as a curtailment of a fundamental right of Muslim women students.

The three-bench judge of Karnataka High Court comprising of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justices JM Khazi and Krishna S Dixit said that they want to resolve the matter soon but till that time peace should be maintained. Chief Justice Awasthi said, “Till the disposal of the matter, you people should not insist on wearing all these religious things,” and added, “We will pass an order. Let the schools-colleges start. But till the matter is resolved no students should insist on wearing religious dress.” Following this, a student had approached the apex court for immediate intervention.

Hijab row Supreme Court hearing: Know More

However, the Supreme Court also reject the plea for an urgent hearing of the case and said that they will be interfering only at the appropriate time. Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said, “Please do not spread it to larger levels. We know what is happening. Think over, is it proper to bring these things to Delhi? The national level? If there is anything wrong, we will protect…”

Karnataka hijab row escalates

The row began in December last year after a group of girls wearing hijab were denied entry into the Government PU College for Girls in Udupi, Karnataka. The reason cited by the administration was that the directives by the state education ministry do not allow the wearing any religious clothing except a proper uniform. Students however claimed that this was the first time they had been prevented from wearing hijab on the campus, that too citing the said rule. After protests, the students were allowed to enter the campus wearing hijab but were directed to remove it while attending classes.


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


The grieving students were then asked to attend online classes if they could not ditch their choice of wearing hijab. These students have been pleading with authorities to let them attend the classes as examination dates come close. But they were not and this spilt over to other colleges in the district of Udupi and then other cities of Karnataka.

In February, students at Bhandarkar’s college in Udupi were barred from entering the campus while wearing a hijab after over a hundred male students came to college clad in saffron shawls. The group of male students demanded a ban on hijab on the college campus. Despite their repeated pleas over upcoming exams, the female Muslim students clad in hijab were turned away.

Last week, a girl wearing burkha in the Mandya district of the state was hounded by a group of saffron-clad boys. The girl named Muskan tired of their harassment shouted back “Allah Hu Akbar” at the group which only instigated them further. The Karnataka government had to shut down schools and colleges across the state to avoid student protests.

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