Mangaluru (Karnataka): The Uppinangady Government First Grade College management has suspended 23 girl students, who staged a protest demanding permission to wear hijab inside classrooms last week.
The Puttur MLA from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the College Development Committee (CDC) chairman Sanjeeva Matandoor told PTI on Tuesday, June 7, “The students staged a demonstration. So they were suspended on Monday [June 6]. According to sources, last week the girls came to the college in Puttur Taluk of Dakshina Kannada district wearing hijab and protested demanding permission to wear the headscarf.”
The CDC met on June 6 and decided to suspend them.
A college official told the Indian Express, “Yesterday, the girls created a lot of problems in the college by violating uniform rules multiple times despite the CDC and high court order directing them to wear uniforms. The teachers had a tough time convincing them and they were not ready to listen. Finally, the college principal consulted all the teachers and decided to keep the girls away from classes for four days. The CDC has clearly said that the hijab will not be allowed in classes and the corridor. If the girls still violate the rules, we have no choice but to take strict action.”
“We called the parents to the institute several times and convinced them about the rules pertaining to uniforms. Although the parents did not have any problem with the decision of the CDC, the children are hellbent on wearing the hijab. The teachers are exhausted from trying to convince the students about the need to comply with the dress code,” the official added.
Last week, the panel had suspended seven students for coming to the college wearing hijab.
The Karnataka high court ruling in March this year had said that a “headscarf is not an essential religious practice in Islam” and everyone should abide by the uniform dress rule in the educational institutions wherever there is a dress code.
The court also upheld the Karnataka government’s order which banned any cloth inside the educational institutions that can disturb peace and public order.
The ruling came after a few students from a government pre-university college in the coastal district of Udupi approached the high court after they were banned from attending classes with hijab as some Hindu students in protest started coming to the college wearing saffron scarves.
The issue had sparked agitations by a section of students with saffron scarves versus hijab row making headlines in parts of Karnataka earlier this year.
To control the situation, the government had shut schools and colleges in Karnataka for a week in February.