After protests erupted over some educational institutions refusing to admit students wearing hijab, the Karnataka government ordered schools and colleges to close for three days. Here’s how the state’s hijab debate devolved into violence. On December 31, a group of roughly six students from the Government PU College for Girls in Udupi demanded that they wear hijab in class. The guidelines were explained to them during the admissions process, and no one opposed them, according to the college. After a meeting at the institution, it was decided that students would not be permitted to wear headscarves in the classroom. Pompei College Aikala has decided that students would only be allowed to wear the official uniform. Pictures and videos of students wearing saffron shawls on campus have gone viral, bringing the college into the spotlight.

Eight girls from Udupi’s Government PU College for Girls decided to attend lessons only if they can wear hijab. Raghupathi Bhat, a member of the Legislative Assembly, has written to the PU director. Students argue that the agreement they signed at the time of admission simply mentioned wearing a uniform and having identification cards. At Udupi College, another attempt was made to resolve the headscarf row. Students will be allowed to wear hijab in class, but they will be required to remove it once the teacher arrives and classes begin. They will have to wait for government orders if they do not agree.

The government of Karnataka has agreed to appoint an expert committee to decide on uniforms and dress codes. It instructs Udupi colleges to maintain the status quo till the panel makes a final ruling. On January 28, Campus Front of India stated that it will continue to support the girls, even as the college development committee at the Government PU College for Girls began conversations with Muslim leaders and parents to end the hijab dilemma. Five Muslim females from the Government PU College for Girls in Udupi have petitioned the high court for a declaration that they have a fundamental right to practice important religious activities on college grounds, including the wearing of hijab as per Islamic faith. Six students were denied entry into the classroom on February 1.

About 28 Muslim students were denied admittance to Kundapur Junior College because they were wearing hijab. It expands to Bhandarkar’s Arts and Science College, then to the Government PU College. On February 1, a group of students from a government PU college in Ramadurga, Belagavi, wear saffron shawls to class. However, on February 4, the incident is revealed. Tensions rose at Udupi’s Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College after Hindu students wore saffron turbans and shawls to challenge hijab-wearing pupils.

As a result, the government has declared a three-day holiday beginning Wednesday, as the high court hears a case submitted by students.


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