Karnataka High Court, after the hearing of petitions challenging the ban on hijab in colleges, on Thursday asked students not to wear ‘religious things’ till the disposal of the matter. A bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice JM Khazi of the High Court said that it will pass an order directing the reopening of colleges and asked students not to insist on wearing religious things till the disposal of the matter. “Peace and tranquility must be restored,” the court said while adjourning the matter for Monday.
Yesterday, a single bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit of High Court had referred the petitions filed by Muslim girl students to a larger bench while observing that important questions relating to Constitutional rights and personal law are involved. The Hijab protests in the state began in January this year when some students at the Government Girls PU college in Udupi district in Karnataka alleged that they had been barred from attending classes. During the protests, some students claimed they were denied entry into the college for wearing hijab.
Following this incident, students of different colleges arrived at Shanteshwar Education Trust in Vijayapura wearing saffron stoles. The situation was the same in several colleges in the Udipi district. The pre-University education board had released a circular stating that students can wear only the uniform approved by the school administration and no other religious practices will be allowed in colleges.
Following these protests, a three-day holiday from February 9 has been declared in all the universities under the Department of Higher Education and colleges under the department of Collegiate and Technical Education (DCTE).
On Tuesday, the Karnataka High Court also appealed to the student community and the public at large to maintain peace and tranquillity while hearing various pleas challenging a ban on hijab in the state.