Hijab row: Two Udupi pre-university students return home without taking exam
Two pre-university college students from Udupi who had approached the Karnataka High Court challenging the ban on hijab, returned from the exam centre on Friday as they were not allowed to write the exam wearing hijab.
The exam which began on Friday will go on till May 18. The first paper was Business Studies. Over 6.84 lakh students will write the exam at 1,076 centres across the state.
The two girls-Alia and Resham- arrived in an auto-rickshaw at the exam centre wearing burqa. They insisted that they should be allowed to write the exam wearing hijab but the college authorities citing the High Court order denied them entry. Subsequently, the girls returned home.
On January 1, six girl students of a college in Udupi attended a press conference held by the Campus Front of India (CFI) in the coastal town protesting against the college authorities denying them entry into classrooms wearing headscarves.
This was four days after they requested the principal permission to wear hijab in classes which was not allowed. Till then, students used to wear the headscarf to the campus, but entered the classroom after removing it, college principal Rudre Gowda had said.
The reason was that the Hindu girls started coming to the college wearing saffron scarves to protest the permission granted to Muslim girls to violate the college uniform.
The matter snowballed into a major controversy as it spread to other parts of the state compelling the government to shut the college for a week in February.
The girls then approached the Karnataka High Court against the ban. The full bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi dismissed their petition saying that the hijab is not an essential religious practice and upheld the government order banning hijab and any cloth that could disturb peace, harmony and public order.