Amid the hijab row in Karnataka, students wearing headscarves were on Monday, 7 February, allowed entry into the Udupi Pre-University government college campus – which has been the hotspot of the dispute – but were seated in separate classrooms, as per news agency ANI.
No lessons were given to these students, as per an NDTV report. They were allowed to enter the premises merely to prevent overcrowding at the gate, as per the college officials.
The educational institute located in Kundapur had previously denied entry to students donning hijab on several occasions, citing rules regarding the school uniform.
"We won't remove our hijab until high court orders. They (college administration) won't allow us in classrooms with hijab so we'll sit outside in halls. Classes not going on for us, we're just sitting here," a student of the PU college told ANI on Monday, saying that the principal had allowed them to enter the class if they would take off their hijab.
'Urge Students Not To Get Provoked': CM Bommai
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Education Minister BC Nagesh on Monday urged the students not to get provoked and follow government orders regarding the ongoing row.
"The court order is coming tomorrow (Tuesday). The state government will take a decision on the issue once the order comes. As the case is before the court I don't want to speak about it," CM Bommai said, IANS reported.
The Karnataka High Court will take up the hearing of petitions by Muslim students on the hijab row on Tuesday. The students have sought the court's directions to the government and the education department to allow them to attend classes in hijab.
Meanwhile, speaking to news agency ANI on Monday, BC Nagesh, Karnataka's Primary and Secondary Education Minister stated, "Law of the land has to be followed. If they've to study, then they must adhere to dress code prescribed by schools/administration."
The issue has been ongoing since 28 December 2021, when the Kundapur PU college in Udupi had prohibited six girls wearing hijabs from attending classes.
Last week, a group of Hindu students had worn saffron shawls to class in Kundapur PU College to protest against Muslim girl students attending classes in hijab.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh had informed the college authorities that students could not be permitted to enter classrooms in any attire except the uniform, be it hijabs or saffron scarves.
Students Clad in Saffron Shawls Arrive at 2 Vijaypura Colleges, Holiday Declared
Meanwhile, some students of the Shanteshwara Pre-University College and GRB College in Vijaypura arrived at the institutes wearing saffron shawls on Monday. Taking the sensitivity of the situation into account, the college administrations declared a holiday for the day.
The development comes in spite of an order issued by the Karnataka government on Saturday, which states, "In the event of the administrative committee not selecting a uniform, clothes which disturb equality, integrity and public law and order should not be worn."
Meanwhile, some students of Venkataramana College in Udupi on Monday turned up wearing saffron shawls in order to mark their protest against the wearing of hijab in classrooms. The saffron-clad students were stopped from entering the college by Kundapur Sub-Inspector Sadashiva Gavaroji.
'Students Should Think Beyond Religion, Some Vested Interests Behind This Row': Karnataka Home Minister
"Wearing a hijab and shawl (saffron) both aren't allowed into college premises. The state government has already clarified that students should wear the uniform approved by college management. Everyone should follow it. All are equal and children of mother India," Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra was quoted as saying by ANI on Monday.
"Students should think beyond religion. Uniform is symbol of equality. I suspect some vested interest behind these issues (Udupi row). I directed cops to inquire about it as to who is involved in instigating it," he added.