Hijab Row: Schools Resume Peacefully In Karnataka, Pro-Hijab Protests At Tamil Nadu

Bangalore: After nearly a week long protests and violence, high schools in Karnataka opened on Monday. There were prohibitory orders in Udupi and Bengaluru. The government has decided to reopen schools and colleges in phased manner after a high court proposal banning religious garments in educational institutions, till the matter is pending with the court.

Meanwhile, the petitioners against the hijab ban are arguing on their side in the high court. The high court will take up the matter for further hearing today. Here are the top developments:


In Udupi district, all the schools that reopened witnessed normal attendance. Muslim students wearing hijab were asked to take off the hijabs, before entering the classes. Udupi Tahsildar Pradeep Kurudekar told PTI that there were no reports of Hindu students turning up in saffron shawls.

An argument broke out between parents and a teacher outside Rotary school in Karnataka’s Mandya after the students were asked to take off the hijab, or headscarf, before entering the campus.

One of the parents reportedly requested the teacher to allow the students inside the classroom before they take off the hijab.

Police personnel have been posted in Udupi town and near the schools to maintain law and order and to avoid any violent mishap.

Meanwhile, Commerce students of the second Pre-University Course (PUC) at the government high school in Udupi, submitted a memorandum to the school demanding that offline classes be started at the earliest.

However, a decision regarding reopening of Pre-University and Degree colleges will be taken later.


In Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore, Yegathuva Muslim Jamath staged a protest in which Muslim women wore tri-color scarves. In Trichy, a protest was called by Manithaneya Jananayaka Katchi, where Muslim men and women participated in it, claiming that wearing hijab is a right given by the Constitution.


Karnataka High Court continued hearing the petition filed by Muslim students against the ban on hijab on campuses. Advocate Kamat representing the petitioners said that the government order that states that wearing hijab is not protected by Article 25 is ‘totally erroneous’.

Advocate Kamat said, “To allow the College Development Committee to decide whether to allow students to wear headscarves or not is totally illegal. The only restriction that can be imposed under Article 25 is public order, which can only be imposed by the state. Can a college development committee consisting of an MLA and some subordinates decide on exercising fundamental freedom? How can a statutory authority be made the guardian of our fundamental rights?”

The High Court will resume the hearing on the matter today. The government is likely to introduce new guidelines on hijab in school. Colleges are likely to reopen from February 16.

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