In yet another instance of religious intolerance, around 50 students of a state-run degree college in Karnataka’s Koppa taluk wore saffron-coloured scarves as a way of protesting against Muslim women wearing hijab in classrooms on Tuesday, 4 January.
As per the visuals, the students can be seen sitting at an entrance gate of the institution, raising slogans against the dress code.
The college in Balagadi, in fact, initially asked women not to attend classes wearing a hijab, giving in to the demand of the students wearing the saffron scarves.
However, the college later decided to let students wear what they want, suspending the dress code, and called for a parent-teacher meeting on 10 January to resolve the issue.
According to news agency PTI, Ananth Murthy, principal of the college, said, "We are convening a parent-teacher meeting, which will also be attended by public representatives, on 10 January to resolve the issue. The decision arrived at would be a binding one."
A decision on the matter was made three years ago as well. The college principal added that back then, it was decided that "Muslim girls could cover their heads with a scarf." Now, since new students have joined, they are raising the issue again, he added. There are around 850 students in the college.
Murthy added, "Everything was going smoothly. But yesterday, some students suddenly appeared in the class wearing scarves. They were objecting to the dress code of some other students."
A second-year BCom student Vinay Koppa was quoted as saying by PTI, "Three years ago, a similar controversy had erupted in the college and it was decided that no one should come to the college wearing a hijab, but over the past few days, some women have been coming to the college wearing it. Hence, we decided to wear saffron scarves."
He added that if their demands were not met, they would intensify their agitation.
(With inputs from PTI.)