Karnataka: Hijab-wearing students boycott classes; Ameer-e-Shariat's Karnataka bandh call creates a flutter
A day after Karnataka HC dismissed petitions stating wearing of hijab was not an essential religious practice in Islam, hijab-wearing Muslim students in colleges across the state boycotted classes
A day after the Karnataka High Court dismissed a batch of petitions stating that wearing of hijab (headscarf) was not an essential religious practice in Islam, a large section of Hijab wearing Muslim students in colleges across the state boycotted the classes on Wednesday.
Schools and colleges had been closed in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi on Tuesday as a precautionary measure with the High Court pronouncing its verdict. When they reopened on Wednesday, the girls who had protested earlier on the hijab issue turned up at the campus, but were not allowed by the college authorities. The same mood was witnessed in colleges in Kalaburagi, Yadgir and Shivamogga.
In a co-ed government college in Yadgir, a Muslim boy who came wearing a skull cap was given a whack by his teacher, who then removed it later. However, the girls stood their ground and refused to remove the hijab.
"Our preparatory exams are scheduled next week. We prefer to stand outside the college, if hijab is not allowed inside. Our parents have also said the same thing. If the government is interested let them postpone the exams till the Supreme Court gives a verdict on the issue,'' a group of girls from Kamala Nehru college in Shivamogga said.
Udupi Deputy Commissioner M Kurma Raoafter after visiting all the schools and colleges said:
"All classes are going on fine. It is all normal. We request all the students, teachers, parents and people of the district to maintain peace and harmony, Udupi is a peaceful district,'' he added.
Meanwhile, a Karnataka bandh call for March 17 (Thursday) given by Karnataka Ameer-e-Shariat, Maulana Sagheer Ahmed Khan Rashadi, has created a flutter among some of the political circles and groups in the state. Rajya Sabha former Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan said Muslim politicians in the state were not in favour of the bandh. "I have spoken to the Ameer-e-Shariat in this regard, but he is yet to get back to him on the issue. I have discussed the matter with other Muslim legislators and we oppose it. It is being backed by some organisations including the Social Democratic Party of India,'' Khan said.
In the two minute, 20 seconds video the Ameer-e-Shariat said the bandh call has been given to express their anger on the court order. "We want to bring it to the state government and others notice that it is possible to pursue education and be in the mainstream by following the tenets of religion,'' he added. The Ameer-e-Shariat has appealed for the bandh to be peaceful and voluntary and there should be no processions or slogans raised.