Karnataka's Primary and Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh on Wednesday, 9 February, made false claims, and questioned why a muslim college student, who was caught on camera as she was being heckled by a saffron-clad mob, "provoked" the boys.
"They did not want to gherao the girl. but when she was shouting... when she was shouting Allah-hu-Akbar, there was not a single student around her. Why she provoked saying Allah-hu-Akbar in a college campus? Can't encourage 'Allah-hu-Akbar' or 'Jai Shri Ram' on campus."BC Nagesh, as per NDTV
The visual captures the Muslim girl being heckled by a large crowd of boys donning saffron scarves, chanting 'Jai Shri Ram' in unison and advancing towards her. In defiance, the student can be seen raising her first and shouting 'Allahu Akbar' thrice as she faces the sloganeering.
Reacting to the controversy further, the Karnataka minister stated, "No one can take law and order into their hands. The government will not spare any miscreant."
What Had Happened?
Muskan, who is a second-year BCom student, spoke to The Indian Express after the incident and said that after she reached her class, she received full support from the principal of the college.
"In our college, we are allowed to wear the burqa till we reach class, but after that, we can't wear the hijab. Nobody in this college had a problem with our dress, but the whole controversy was started by a bunch of outsiders a couple of days ago," she told IE.
Further, Muskan said that she knew about 10 percent of the chanters as students from the college, while the rest seemed like outsiders.
The state of Karnataka is rife with tensions, with the row over wearing hijabs to educational institutes reaching Parliament.
On Tuesday, clashes broke out in parts of the state as students protesting against the denial of entry into colleges for girls wearing hijab were met with opposition from saffron-clad protesters. Karnataka Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai consequently announced 3-day closed for all schools and colleges in the state.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Police on Wednesday banned gatherings, agitations, and protests of any kind within a 200-metre radius of educational institutions in Bengaluru city for a period of two weeks.
Hearing the petitions of Muslim girl students on the right to wear hijab to the classes, the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday transferred the matter to a larger bench.