Hearing In Students’ Right To Wear Hijab In Karnataka Classrooms Ends

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The Karnataka High Court concluded the hearing related to the ‘hijab’ (scarf) case on Friday, but reserved its order.

“Heard. Order reserved,” Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi said.

The court asked the petitioners to file written submissions, if any, before the Bench.

The Bench, constituted on February 9 and comprising the Chief Justice, Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice Jaibunnisa M Khazi, heard on a day-to-day basis over the last two weeks a batch of petitions filed by some girls seeking permission to wear the hijab in educational institutions where a uniform has been prescribed.

The girls were allegedly denied entry into a pre-university college for girls in Udupi in December last for violating the dress code.

On January 1, six girl students attended a press meet held by the Campus Front of India (CFI) protesting against denial of entry into classrooms as they were wearing the hijab. This prompted the boy-students to wear saffron shawls in protest.

As the issue of hijab versus saffron scarves spread to several educational institutions in many parts of Karnataka since then, the state government announced a holiday from February 9 to February 15 in all the pre-university colleges and from February 9 to February 16 in degree and diploma colleges.

In its interim order, the Bench asked the government to re-open the educational institutions, which were hit by the agitation, and restrained students from wearing religious attire till the court issues the final order.

“The institution did not have any rule on hijab-wearing since no one used to wear it to the classroom in the last 35 years. The students who came with the demand had the backing of outside forces,” the principal of a college said.

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