The students’ protest continued despite the recent Karnataka government order to maintain the status quo in the college.

Students wearing hijab stand at the gate of the Udupi college
news Controversy Tuesday, February 01, 2022 - 15:38

The stalemate over the hijab controversy at the Government Girls Pre-University College in Udupi continued as the six Muslim girl students who donned the hijab to mark World Hijab Day on Tuesday, February 1, were not allowed to attend classes. The students have also dismissed the news that they have agreed to attend classes without hijab. 

“We have never agreed to come without hijab,” said Aliya Assadi, one of the protesting students, on her social media platform. She added that the protesting girls will come to the college wearing hijab, which is their religious and constitutional right. "The college is being run on the tax money that we gave to the government. There is no necessity for anyone's interference. Our judicious fight can't be sidelined by threats."

Media has been prohibited from entering the premises of the college and security has been beefed in the campus to avoid any untoward incident. The students’ protest continued despite the recent Karnataka government order to maintain the status quo in the college until the high-level committee submitted a report on allowing hijab along with uniform.

Udupi BJP MLA Raghupathy Bhat had earlier stated that the police have been informed about the matter and no outside persons, including those from Muslim as well as Hindu organisations, will be allowed into the campus as the hijab row has put the academic career of the 1,000 students studying in the college at stake. The students have to be ready for examinations, which are going to be held in another two months.

He further stated after holding a meeting that the students, who are protesting for wearing hijab in classrooms, are being told to come to the college campus only if they decide to shun hijab. "Otherwise, we have clearly told them not to come to the college and spoil the academic environment," he said. 

"We have told them clearly to come to the college only if they have decided to come to class without a hijab. They can't come to the premises of the college and spoil the college academic environment. We have also informed the police regarding the entry of media and other organisations into the campus," he stated.

On Monday, a student of the college in Udupi approached the Karnataka High Court seeking directions to her college to permit entry into her classroom while wearing a hijab. In her petition, the student argued that wearing a hijab was her fundamental right guaranteed under Article 14 and 25 of the Constitution. 

Also read: Karnataka hijab row: Student moves HC, seeks interim relief to attend classes

She said, “Constitution of India guarantees the Freedom of Conscience and the right to profess, practise and propagate religion while reserving the state's right to interfere with the religious matter only if it involves an issue relating to public order, morality and health.”

Also read: It's our right to wear hijab, don't bar us from class: Udupi students speak up

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