Karnataka: Udupi College Denies Hijab-Clad Students Entry for Practical Exams

'For two months we didn't have classes but we watched YouTube videos and prepared for the exam...but the principal told us, 'You have five minutes to leave, if you don't leave, I will have to file a police complaint',' a student said.

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New Delhi: Three hijab-clad Muslim students, among the six who had been originally barred by Udupi’s Government PU Girls College because they were in the hijab, were on February 28 not allowed to write their science practical exams, it has been reported.

The college has cited the Karnataka high court’s interim order barring students from wearing religious clothing to educational institutions.

In January, six students from the same college were denied permission to enter the classroom because they were wearing a hijab. The issue spread to other colleges in Karnataka and has now become a topic of nationwide discussion.

Of the six students, three are in the science stream. They arrived in the college Monday wearing hijab to appear for the examination. But principal Rudre Gowda did not allow them to enter the examination centre wearing a hijab, citing the interim of order of the high court. The students, therefore, had to return home.

One of them, a petitioner in the high court case, told The News Minute, “We requested the principal today once again to allow us to write the exam. For two months we did not have classes but we watched YouTube videos and prepared for the exam and we thought we would get to write the exams.”

She added, “Today was our final practical exam. We had completed our record books and went in great hopes to attend the practical exam. It was so disheartening when our principal threatened us saying ‘you have five minutes to leave, if you don’t leave, I will have to file a police complaint, the principal told us,” she said.

Also read: Teenage Bajrang Dal Worker in Karnataka Calls for Genocide of ‘Those Who Want Hijab’

“Right now, we should have been in our labs attending the practical exams, not compelled to leave. The hopes I had from my college and my dreams are getting shattered due to the hatred sowed against hijab.”

The six students from the college had earlier written to the pre-university board on February 24 to postpone their practical examinations, the report said.

Meanwhile, 15 students were not allowed inside the DVS College in Shivamogga as college authorities told them that they cannot attend classes in hijab or burqa as the high court interim order was in force, PTI reported.

The girls gathered at the college gate but the policemen deployed there said they cannot form groups as prohibitory orders were in place under Section 144 of the CrPC.

On the outskirts of Mangaluru, Bharath Composite Pre-University college at Mastikatte, which declared a holiday from February 25 following protests by students over entry, did not reopen for classes on Monday.

TNM further reported that Muslim students in Dr G Shankar Government Women’s First Grade College in Udupi, Government Pre-University College in Kundapura, Bhandarkar’s College of Arts and Sciences in Kundapura, said that they have not attended classes or appeared for their exams since the state government’s order was enforced.

(With inputs from PTI)