Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai and home minister Araga Jnanendra held a high-level virtual meeting with state and district officials on Thursday. It was attended by Deputy commissioners (DCs), superintendents of police and CEOs of Zilla Panchayats of all districts.
The government has taken a slew of measures to prevent any untoward incidents when high schools reopen on Monday:
- DCs and SPs have been asked to visit campuses in sensitive areas to ensure peace and prevent any untoward incident.
- DCs, SPs and DDPIs have been asked to keep constant contact with principals, teachers, management of educational institutions and parents
- Officials have been asked to keep strict vigil so that rumours and inciting messages don’t spread through social media
- Action should be taken against the guilty, peace meetings should be held and the High Court order should be followed literally
- All political leaders, religious leaders, heads of organisations should be taken into confidence and their cooperation should be sought
- Local administrations have been given the powers to act according to the situation and take immediate measures, instead of waiting for orders from the top
The situation in Karnataka is tense over some colleges disallowing girl students we attend classes wearing the hijab. It got further complicated after protesters in saffron scarves demonstrated in some colleges.
The government on Wednesday declared a three-day holiday after stray incidents of violence over the row.
The matter landed in the Karnataka High Court which passed an interim order on Thursday, and restrained all the students from wearing saffron shawls, scarves, hijab and any religious flag within the classroom.
“Everyone should abide by the High Court order and special attention has to be paid so that not even a single untoward incident takes place for any reason. A message has to be sent to society that anti-social elements have been identified and they are being watched,” the home minister said.
He also appealed to the media to highlight the current peaceful situation, rather than showing incidents from the past.
A decision on reopening degree colleges is likely to be taken after observing the situation on Monday.
SC says will take up plea at appropriate time
The Supreme Court Friday said it would protect the Constitutional rights of every citizen and take up at an “appropriate time” the pleas challenging a direction of the Karnataka High Court asking students not to wear any religious clothing in educational institutions, and emphasised that these issues should not “spread” at “national level”.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana was told that the high court order has led to the “suspension of fundamental right to practice religion under Article 25 of the Constitution” and the plea be listed for hearing on Monday.
Refusing to list the plea on February 14 as sough, the bench, also comprising justices A S Bopanna and Hima Kohli, referred to the ongoing hearing of the case in the high court and said it will protect the fundamental right of every citizen and take up the matter at an “appropriate time”.
“The high court is already hearing this on an urgent basis. We do not know what the order is…Wait . Let us see,” the bench said.
(With inputs from agencies)