March 24, 2023

Hijab protests and boycott mar reopening of Karnataka colleges | India News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Chaos and protests marked the reopening on Wednesday of several pre-university and degree colleges in Karnataka that were shut last week after violent agitations over wearing of headscarves inside classrooms. Many Muslim students boycotted classes and staged demonstrations.
Several SSLC students continued to boycott the preparatory examinations and staged protests in various high schools for the third successive day.
More than 1,000 students boycotted schools and colleges in Udupi, Mysuru, Belagavi, Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga, Mangaluru, Kodagu, Dharwad, Vijayapura and a few other districts of the state. There were no untoward incidents, with schools and colleges covered by extensive police security. In some districts, prohibitory orders were clamped around educational institutions.
In several places, students were stopped at the entrances to colleges and asked to remove their hijabs. That led to heated arguments between students and school and college staff. Efforts of college managements and teaching staff to convince the students about the Karnataka high court’s interim order did not yield any result. In many places, police intervened to bring the situation under control.
Though Karnataka higher education minister CN Ashwath Narayan clarified that no uniform was stipulated in degree colleges and students could wear clothing of their choice, many colleges restricted students from wearing hijabs in classrooms.
Six students from Government PU College for Girls, Udupi, where the hijab controversy began, did not attend classes on Wednesday, according to principal Rudre Gowda.
Protests continued even as home minister Araga Jnanendra asked students to follow the court order or face action. “It won’t be a soft approach from now on. Obeying the court order and respecting the Constitution is the responsibility of citizens. If this is violated, harsh action will be taken,” he added.

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