At least 58 students from a PU college in Karnataka's Shivamogga district were suspended on Saturday, 19 February, for donning a hijab and staging a protest demanding to be allowed to attend classes.
The students from Shiralakoppa government school in Shivamogga were suspended and were told not to protest at the school.
The school authorities have denied issuance of suspension orders.
The protesting students got into heated arguments with college authorities until the police intervened to disperse the crowd.
The principal of the school justified that they cannot allow entry of hijab-wearing students to class as per the interim order of the high court banning hijabs in educational institutions. However, the students did not listen and pressed for wearing of hijab, the principal told IANS.
Protests Across the State
The Karnataka High Court last week has issued an interim order banning any religious attire, including hijab, to schools and colleges in the state until the matter is resolved in court.
The decision has sparked tensions across the State, including Belagavi, Yadgir, Bellary, Chitradurgam and Shivamogga districts, where hijab-wearing Muslim women have demanded entry into the classrooms saying that the order is an attack on their religious freedom.
Meanwhile, 10-15 “unknown girls” in Tumakuru, 70 km from Bengaluru, have been charged with unlawful assembly for demanding that they be allowed to enter their college wearing a hijab and disobeying the court’s order, as reported by Times of India.
The case against the group of students was registered after a complaint was filed by the principal of Empress Government PU College in Tumakuru.
Hijab-clad students also gathered in the playground of the Ballary’s Saraladevi College after they were turned away from classes. The protesting students refused to speak to the police.
In Kodagu, hijab-clad students staged a protest holding placards before the gate of the college.
In Belagivi, the administration of Vijay Para-Medical College has declared a holiday for an indefinite period due to the protests, as reported by news agency IANS.
In Harihara, students of the SJVP College have boycotted classes after being denied entry to classrooms for hearing hijab.
As per IANS, the state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said:
"The hijab row is not in all colleges. Very few colleges are facing the agitations and they are being warned. Section 144 has been clamped in the surrounding areas of the colleges."
Those who have violated it have been arrested and FIR has been lodged against many, he added.
(With inputs from The Times of India, IANS.)