Students leave after being denied entry to PU College in Udupi on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, because they were wearing hijab.

The Karnataka High Court will continue to hear petitions challenging a government order prohibiting the wearing of the hijab in schools and colleges today.

The case was taken up last week by a bench consisting of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit, and Justice JM Khazi, after a single bench referred the case to the Chief Justice citing constitutional questions.

Earlier on Wednesday, turmoil reigned in numerous pre-university campuses around the state, which reopened after being closed for a week due to the Hijab controversy, as Burqa-clad Muslim students were refused admission.

A section of Muslim students were insistent not to remove the Burqa, let alone the Hijab, the Islamic scarves, despite tight security with police positioned in and around Pre-university colleges at numerous key locations.

Pre-university and degree colleges in the Udupi district resumed on Wednesday, despite police keeping a close eye on the institutes where prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed.

The six Muslim girl students who had petitioned the Karnataka High Court to overturn the hijab prohibition remained absent, according to Rudre Gowda, head of the government PU college for women in Udupi. The 23 female students of the government PU college in Kundapur, who also insisted on wearing hijab, skipped lessons on Wednesday.

When they refused to remove their headscarves before entering school last week, they were forced to sit in a separate room.

At the MGM college in Manipal, Udupi, where turbulent situations were reported last week with groups of students screaming slogans against one other, classes had not resumed. The college had been declared closed by the authorities on Wednesday.

At the G Shankar government women’s first grade college in Ajjarkad in the district, Muslim students were allowed to access lessons after removing their hijabs. Those who refused were sent to a different classroom.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai told the state legislature yesterday that his government will follow the interim decision issued by the High Court in the Hijab case.

The Chief Minister was responding to Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah’s request for clarification during the zero hour on Higher Education Minister C N Ashwath Narayan’s declaration that the dress code only applies to Pre-University institutes and not Degree Colleges.

“The facts have been disclosed by the Minister of Higher Education. He claims that dress code applies when rules exist, but that it does not apply to higher education institutions or degree colleges “Bommai remarked.

He said that the High Court’s interim decision is also very clear: when there is a dress code, it must be followed, and where there isn’t, it isn’t applicable. “Things are quite obvious; our administration will follow the High Court’s ruling,” he continued.

As protests for and against the hijab grew in intensity across Karnataka, turning violent in some places, the state government proclaimed a three-day holiday for all high schools and institutions in the state, beginning February 9, which was later extended for colleges until February 16.

Last week, the Karnataka High Court issued an interim order directing the state government to reopen educational institutions and prohibiting all students from wearing saffron shawls, scarves, hijab, or any religious flag in the classroom, pending the resolution of all petitions related to the hijab issue. The administration chose to reopen schools and colleges in response to the court ruling.

By 12news World

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