While a row over wearing hijab to class at the Government Pre University College for Women in Udupi continues to rage, a controversy over dress code has now emerged in another college in that district.
A group of boys at the Government Pre University College in Kundapur came to college sporting saffron shawls on Wednesday in protest against some girls attending classes wearing hijab.
Kundapur MLA Haladi Srinivasa Shetty, who heads the college’s development committee, held a meeting with parents and asked them to make their children comply with the existing dress code — i.e., is wearing uniform — till a decision is taken by the Pre University Department.
Mr. Shetty told The Hindu over phone that some girl students of the college have been coming to class sporting hijab for the last about five days. This was objected to by other students and they sought action. “As the situation was getting tense, I called a meeting of parents on Wednesday when a number of boys were seen in the college with shawls,” he said.
The MLA said that he heard parents of students who came to class wearing hijab. “I asked them to practice their religion in their houses and not drag it to the classroom. I made it clear that there cannot be hijab or saffron shawls in the classroom and students have to wear uniform that has been prescribed,” he said.
Mr. Shetty said that he called Primary and Secondary Education Minister B.C. Nagesh who also spoke to the parents. The Minister told the parents that the Expert Committee of the PU Department is looking into the issue. “Until a decision is taken, the students have been asked to attend college in uniform,” Mr. Shetty said.
The MLA said that no students will be allowed to enter the college campus from Thursday with either hijab or any shawl.
Meanwhile, a three-member team of officials from Udupi district administration on Wednesday visited the Government PU College for Girls where six students are demanding that they be allowed to wear hijab in the classroom.
The visit of the three-member team follows a notice to the district administration on a petition filed by a student before the National Human Rights Commission. The college, as per its dress code, has barred students from attending classes wearing hijab.