Hijab-clad students denied entry to college in Karnataka

Mangaluru: Muslim girl students of the government pre-university college at Kundapur in Udupi district, who reached the institution wearing hijab' (headscarf) were stopped at the gate by the college principal on Thursday.
The principal informed the students that they are not allowed to wear hijab inside the classrooms and asked them to remove the head dress and enter classes.

argued with the principal and told him that the government order on status quo has not mentioned the Kundapur college. The principal told them that the circular issued by the government applies throughout the state.
The college had witnessed a grave situation on Wednesday when around 100 Hindu boys came to classes wearing saffron shawls to protest against the girls' wearing hijabs inside classrooms. They, however, did not repeat their protest on Thursday.

Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on Thursday said children should neither wear hijab nor saffron shawls at schools and he has asked the police to keep watch on religious organisations that are trying to undermine the country's unity in this regard.

Speaking to reporters here, he said no one should come to school for practicing their religion, as it is a place where all students should learn together with a feeling of oneness.
The remarks come amid a row over wearing 'hijab' (headscarf) by some students at a government pre-university college at Udupi. In another incident, Muslim girl students of the Kundapur PU college, who reached the institution today wearing the hijab, were stopped at the gate by the principal. They were informed that they are not allowed to wear the headscarf inside the classrooms and asked to remove it before entering. Yesterday, around 100 Hindu students came to classes wearing saffron shawls as a counter to the girls wearing hijabs.

A meeting called by Kundapur MLA Halady Srinivas Shetty with the Muslim girls and their parents had failed to reach a consensus on Wednesday, with the parents insisting that their children had the right to wear hijabs.

Meanwhile, state Fisheries Minister and Udupi district-in-charge S Angara told reporters in Udupi that the status quo ordered by the state government disallowing hijabs inside classrooms will continue till the committee appointed to study the issue submits its report.

Everyone has to follow the prescribed dress code in educational institutions. Different institutions cannot have different dress codes, he said.

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