Amid the ongoing hijab row in Karnataka, a college in the city of Bengaluru reportedly asked a Sikh female student to take off her turban while attending classes. The girl, 17, is an Amritdhari Sikh for whom covering her head falls under the code of her faith. In light of discussions in the state around the wearing of religious symbols, Mount Carmel PU College allegedly asked her to take her headcover off.
The Karnataka High Court is hearing a batch of petitions from Muslim women asking to be allowed inside college classrooms with their hijabs on. The issue of non-entry into classrooms with hijab, which first cropped up in Udupi, has spread to other educational institutions in the state, escalating communal tensions. Follow updates here.
An order from state authorities earlier this month directed a ban on clothes affecting harmony and disrupting public order. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government invoked section 133 (2) of the Karnataka Education Act-1983 saying that public institutions should follow its directives, while private institutions can function per their own uniform rules. Read here.
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The father of the Sikh girl who was reportedly asked to remove her turban said that the college made its request last week. She told the college that the turban was part of her faith under the Five Ks of Sikhism. “That day itself I had sent the college administration an email” explaining the same, he said, as quoted by The News Minute.
However, he claims he did not receive any further communication from his daughter’s college and that she was allowed to continue classes with her turban on. The matter resurfaced on February 23, citing the HC’s interim order.
The Karnataka HC in an order earlier this month said that until further directions, religious symbols be restricted on the campus of educational institutions.
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Further quoted in reports, the girl’s father claims she was “singled out and was asked to remove her Dastaar,” which amounts to a “big insult” to the Sikh community. He expressed support with hijabi students, saying that they should be allowed to cover their heads as part of their faith and that it did not cause troubles to anyone before.
The college, meanwhile, cited a visit by educational authorities to enforce the HC’s interim order as the reason behind asking the Sikh girl to remove her turban.
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