Muslim students move SC as Karnataka HC asks them to not wear religious clothes till verdict

Delhi University Muslim Students Federation hold placards during a protest over hijab ban in Karnataka, outside Arts Faculty in New Delhi, on Feb 8, 2022. [Photo: Twitter/MSF DU]

Karnataka: An appeal has been filed in the Supreme Court of India challenging the direction of the Karnataka High Court of no religious dress in colleges.

The interim order of the Karnataka High Court on February 10 restrained students from wearing hijab or any religious attire till the matter is pending with the court.

In the absence of detailed order, the student has relied on certain oral remarks of the bench that, “We will direct that the institutions shall start. But till the matter is pending consideration before the Court, these students and all stakeholders, they shall not insist on wearing religious garments, may be headdress or saffron shawl. We will restrain everyone.”

The Karnataka HC had further stated, “Because we want peace and tranquillity in state. We are seized with the matter. We can continue the matter on day-to-day basis.” The High Court was hearing the petitions filed by Muslim students challenging Hijab Ban in colleges.

A three-judge bench of the Karnataka High Court, comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and two other judges, began hearing petitions on the hijab issue Thursday afternoon.

On February 9, the HC bench headed by Justice Krishna S Dixit had referred the matter to a larger bench, asking the petitioners to seek interim relief after a decision is taken by the Chief Justice.

The full bench also said it wants the matter to be resolved at the earliest but till that time peace and tranquility is to be maintained.

On Thursday evening, the Supreme Court had refused to urgently list a plea challenging the Karnataka government’s rule on dress code in schools and colleges, saying let the high court hear it first.

The hearing will continue in the Karnataka High Court on Monday and in the meantime, students have been asked to refrain from wearing hijab or any other religious dresses till an order is given pertaining to the same.

Pertinently, in a viral video shared on February 8, a Muslim student with a hijab was seen arriving at her college on a scooter. As she walked towards her class after parking her scooter, a group of Hindutva members began to mock her hijab by chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram.’

However, the student stopped to shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ to counter the slogans raised by the mob against Muslims and Hijab.

The video was shared by journalist Imran Khan, who wrote, “#KarnatakaHijabRow when a #hijabi student arrives at PES college in #Mandya. She gets heckled by students wearing #saffronshawls chanting #JaiSriRam. She raises her hand says “#AllahuAkbar befor being escorted by college staff. Video courtesy: Digvijaya News. #Karnataka.”

The student in the video is now being hailed as brave. Journalist Rifat Jawaid tweeted, “Very brave girl indeed. You need guts to take on these terrorists. Hope she remains focused to study and stay away from politics.”

One Twitter user wrote, “My salute this girl she is brave a gladiator.” Another commented, “Harassing a woman is not neither Hinduism nor Nationalism or Patriotism… & saffron don’t Represent Hinduism or Nationalism or Patriotism.”

The social media users have praised the student for standing against the wrong describing her as the “Iron Lady” and the “Icon Lady of Hijab”.

Earlier, a ban was imposed on Muslim students for wearing hijab in the Bhandarkar’s Arts and Science Degree College in Kundapur, which is a coastal town in Karnataka’s Udupi region.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka High Court has begun hearing the plea against a hijab ban in several junior colleges in parts of the state.

Protests erupted in Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College in Udupi on Tuesday as groups of students with saffron scarfs and those wearing hijabs clashed with each other.

The hijab row, which began in a Udupi college, has spread to several educational institutions across Karnataka, with several students turning up for classes wearing saffron shawls and headgears as a form of protest.

Amid the raging row, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has asked students in junior colleges to adhere to the state government’s rules regarding uniforms until the issue over wearing headscarves in classes is addressed by the High Court.


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