The hijab row protest over ban of headscarves worn by Muslim students in junior colleges in Karnataka has now moved onto the campus on the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College in the Udupi district. According to the videos circulating online, boys, clad in saffron shawls and girls wearing hijab raised slogans. The saffron shawl group also raised a saffron flag in protest against the permission given to Muslim women to wear hijab on the college campus. The Karnataka High Court is going to hear a plea against the hijab ban in several junior colleges of the state today.
Udupi's MGM college reportedly declared a holiday today as students turned up in saffron shawls and hijabs for a face-off. Some boys wore both saffron turbans and shawls. After the college declared a holiday, the students gathered inside and outside the college campus to protest against each other. Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Degree College had allowed students wearing hijab to sit for the ongoing examinations, which led to an uproar.
The college, on February 7, had said that neither hijab nor saffron shawls will be allowed on the campus. According to students, media reported, they turned up in saffron shawl after few turned up wearing hijab. Students revealed that as per the government order released recently, wearing a hijab on campus is not allowed anymore.
Udupi Hijab Row Karnataka High Court: Hearing Today
The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College is the third college in the district to be stuck with the row that began earlier this month with the PU Girls College. Students wearing hijab were not allowed inside the college as they were allegedly not following the uniform regulations. Various videos of protest have emerged and one of them shows students in Hijab pleading to be allowed to attend classes as their examination was approaching.
One of the students went on to file a petition at the Karnataka High Court demanding this ban on hijabs to be taken off. According to the previous rules, the students were allowed to wear hijab in the college but were asked to take it off inside the classroom.
Ahead of the Karnataka HC's hearing of the issue, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Basavraj Bommai has appealed before students to maintain peace. He said, "The matter is before the High Court and it will be decided there...I appeal to everyone to maintain peace...All should follow the state's order (on uniform) until the court decides."