Amid the Karnataka Government ordering students to comply with the dress code prescribed by colleges, the hijab controversy spread to two more colleges in Udupi district on February 7.
Some students of Venkatramana Pre University College in Kundapur turned up at the campus wearing saffron shawls demanding that girls should not be allowed to wear hijab in the college. Likewise, a few students at the Government First Grade College in Koteshwara, near Kundapur, too turned up wearing saffron shawls.
Teachers in both the colleges told the students that neither the hijab nor saffron shawls will be allowed inside classrooms, and all students will have to attend classes in the prescribed uniform. in response, students wearing saffron shawls removed them and attended the classes while the girls wearing hijab returned home.
At the Government Pre University College in Kundapur, the management allowed hijab-clad students to protest inside the campus, but not to attend classes. Last week, the students had not been allowed inside the campus. Only those wearing the prescribed uniform were allowed to attend classes.A senior official in Udupi district administration told The Hindu that the aim was to prevent students from staging a protest outside the college gate, which would reduce the scope for any untoward incident.
On February 4, Kundapur police arrested two persons on the charge of brandishing weapons at the venue of a students’ protest outside the college gate. Police gave their names as Abdul Majid, 32, and Rajab, 41. According to police, Majid is an accused in seven criminal cases registered in Gangolli police station while Rajab is an accused in a case registered in the same police station.
Referring to the pre university college at Kundapur allowing hijab-clad girls inside the campus, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education B. C. Nagesh tweeted: “Students protesting outside campus were allowed inside campus as a courtesy. They were asked to wear uniform and attend classes. They, however, chose to sit in a separate room and continue protest. Students must adhere to dress code to attend classes.”