Amidst the ongoing controversy over the wearing of hijabs in schools and colleges in Karnataka, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday, 8 February, ordered the closure of all high schools and colleges for the next three days in the state.
Taking to Twitter, Bommai appealed to maintain peace and harmony.
"I appeal to all the students, teachers and management of schools and colleges as well as people of Karnataka to maintain peace and harmony. I have ordered closure of all high schools and colleges for next three days. All concerned are requested to cooperate [sic]."CM Basavaraj Bommai
The order to close schools comes as incidents and protests over girls wearing the hijab have emerged from several institutions since December.
Even as the Karnataka High Court was hearing the matter on Tuesday, stone-pelting was reported in Shivamogga as a group of students wearing saffron scarves staged a protest against hijabs.
Further, a scuffle erupted at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) College in Udupi on Tuesday after a mob of male students, donning saffron scarves and headgear, protested against the wearing of hijab on campus. Visuals from the MGM College showed a large number of saffron-clad boys at the gates of the college, where a group of girls had assembled in support of Muslim girls' right to wear hijab.
While the high court continues to hear the matter, it has appealed to all students and institutions to maintain law and order.
Section 144 has been imposed by district authorities in Harihara and Davangere towns till further orders.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Home minister Araga Jnanendra, Higher Education minister Dr CN Ashwathnarayan, and Primary Education minister B Nagesh are set to hold a meeting with senior officials on Tuesday to discuss the hijab controversy, reported ANI.
The issue has been ongoing since 28 December 2021, when the Kundapur Pre-University College in Udupi had prohibited six girls wearing hijabs from attending classes.
(With inputs from ANI)