Pre-university colleges in Karnataka to reopen from February 16

Hijab row: Pre-university colleges and university colleges in Karnataka will reopen from February 16, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education BC Nagesh informed on Monday.

The colleges were closed due to a hijab controversy. Protests against the hijab in the southern state began in January this year when female students at Government Girls PU college in the Udupi district of the state alleged that they had been banned from attending classes.

During the protests, some students claimed they had been denied entry to college for wearing the hijab. Following this incident, students from different colleges arrived at Shanteshwar Education Trust in Vijayapura wearing saffron stoles. The situation was the same in several colleges in Udupi district.

The council for pre-university education had issued a circular stipulating that students could only wear uniforms approved by the school administration and that no other religious practices would be allowed in colleges.

However, protests by Muslim girls forced the state to close schools and colleges for nearly a week.

Today, high schools were reopened amid restraining orders in Udupi and in hotspots of Dakshina Kannada and Bengaluru. Udupi had witnessed violence and tension last week.

Article 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was imposed in the sensitive areas of the said neighborhoods. In Udupi district, all schools that have reopened have seen normal attendance, PTI reported citing Education Department sources.

Muslim female students who reached school campuses wearing hijabs and removed them before entering class. The district administration enforced CrPC Section 144 within approximately 200 meters of all high schools in the district from Monday to February 19 to maintain peace.

Udupi Tahsildar Pradeep Kurudekar, who visited a few schools, said Muslim students were complying with the High Court’s interim order by removing the hijab before entering class.

With contributions from agencies

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