The Karnataka government on Monday, February 14, decided to reopen pre-university and degree colleges across the state, that were shut due to hijab row, from February 16. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, which was attended by Home Minister Araga Jnanendra, Primary and Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh, Higher Education Minister CN Ashwath Narayan, and senior officials of the government.
"At the meeting, the current situation in the state was analysed. It was decided to reopen PU and Degree colleges from Wednesday," Nagesh said. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, he said the colleges will reopen on the basis of the Karnataka High Court's interim order. "Wherever (in colleges) there are uniform related rules, it has to be strictly followed. Where a uniform is not there, the dress code will be decided. We will strictly follow the High Court order," he added.
As protests for and against the hijab intensified in different parts of Karnataka and turned violent in some places, the government had declared a holiday for all high schools and colleges in the state for three days, from February 9, and it was subsequently extended up to February 16.
However, the Karnataka High Court, in its interim order pending consideration of all petitions related to the hijab row, last week had requested the state government to reopen educational institutions and restrained all the students from wearing saffron shawls, scarves, hijab and any religious flag within the classroom.
Following the court order, the government had decided to resume classes for high school students up to Class 10 from February 14, and for pre-university and degree colleges thereafter, and accordingly high schools across the state reopened today.
Expressing confidence that there will be no untoward incidents when colleges reopen, Home Minister Jnanendra said police are with educational institutions and see to it that there is no disturbance to peace. Police officials are gathering information regarding how the row got escalated, and investigation is on in this regard.