The principal had reportedly said that "hijab" represented a religion and the rules of the college prohibited the display of religious symbols as it made the students of other communities uncomfortable.

The Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike (KKSV) has urged Governor H.R. Bhardwaj to direct the Governing Council of the Sri Ramakunjeshwara First Grade College at Ramakunja in Dakshina Kannada to stop implementing its unconstitutional dress code imposed on Muslim women students.

Addressing a dharna organised by the vedike in front of the taluk office here on Wednesday, KKSV district unit president G. Rajashekhar said the principal of the college Vasanth Rao had objected to 50 Muslim women students wearing the “hijab” and did not allow them to attend classes.

The principal had reportedly said that “hijab” represented a religion and the rules of the college prohibited the display of religious symbols as it made the students of other communities uncomfortable. The “dress code” was directed only at the “hijab” worn by Muslim women. But the symbols of other religions had not been brought under the code.

The Constitution gave all citizens the freedom to follow their religion. This was a fundamental right of the citizens. Hence the Government or private institutions could not prevent any Muslim women from wearing either “hijab” or “burkha”. The move of the college in not allowing the 50 students from attending their classes was wrong. The dress code was unconstitutional and it would create differences among various communities.

Women in the country had an equal status in society only after a long struggle. The Muslim community, which was economically and socially backward, had seen an increase in the enrolment of Muslim girls to educational institutions because of many reform movements. It was essential to support any community which was trying to move forward.

The move of the Governing Council of the college was regressive. Hence, the Governor should intervene and stop the college from implementing its dress code, Mr. Rajashekhar said.

Leaders of the vedike K. Phaniraj and Dinaker Bengre, DSS leader Jayan Malpe, president of the Vicharawadi Vedike Gopal B. Shetty, member of Jamaat-E-Islami Hind Idris Hoode and Mohammed Markada, leader of Welfare Party of India Anwar Ali Kaup, members of the women’s wing of Jamaat-E-Islami Hind Humera Karkala, and Jamila Hoode, president of Girls Islamic Organization of India Mariam Asadi, and writer Hayavadana Moodusagri were present.