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Karnataka: Six Students Stopped From Entering College in Udupi for ‘Wearing a Hijab’

The six students have been marked 'absent' by the college since December 31, 2021. Their parents approached the college to talk about the issue, but principal has refused to hold any discussions on the matter.
The six students have been marked
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New Delhi: Even after three weeks, female students at the Government Women’s PU college in Udupi, Karnataka, have still not being allowed entry into classrooms for “wearing a hijab”.

The six students have been marked “absent” by the college since December 31, 2021. Their parents approached the college to talk about the issue, but principal Rudra Gowda refused to hold any discussions on the matter, The Hindustan Gazette reported.

The CFI and the Girls Islamic Organisation (GIO) had approached the college authorities and district collect to resolve the matter, however, the students have still not been allowed entry into the classrooms.

CFI state committee member Masood told The Hindustan Gazette that the students were threatened and forced to write a letter saying that they are not attending classes for the last 15 days.

He said, “The principal, along with lecturers, threatened the girls that if they don’t write the letter, then ‘we know how to make you write’,” adding that a student had fallen sick due to the mental torture.

College Development Committee vice president Yashpal Suvarna told Deccan Herald that there were more than 150 women studying in the college who were from minority communities. “None of them have raised any demands,” he said.

“These girls who are members of Campus Front of India (CFI) are keen on creating controversy. The college has its own rules, regulations and disciplinary procedures. The uniform was introduced to offer an egalitarian approach to education, as there are many poor women studying in the college,” he added.

If their demand is met today, they might raise another demand on conducting namaz on the campus, he said.

Also read: The Hijab Has Arrived: Identity in the Time of Dissent and Conditional Allies

PFI state general secretary Nasir Pasha told the newspaper that the incident has taken away the religious freedom enshrined in our Constitution, he said. “Just like how Hindu students wear a bindi and Christian nuns wear a headdress, Muslim students should be allowed to wear a scarf over their head,” he said.

According to The Hindu, Udupi MLA and chairman of College Development Committee K. Raghupati Bhat on January 1 held a meeting of parents of over 1,000 students, and said that the college will continue with its uniform code, which includes a veil, as has been decided by the committee. Deputy director of pre-university department Maruthi also attended the meeting.

A parent of one of the six students told the daily that he cannot compromise on the their practices and he will admit his daughter in another college.

The students also told the daily that the college was preventing them from speaking in Beary and Urdu. However, the college management refuted these allegations.

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