2 Karnataka students challenge hijab ban; return home without writing exam

National News

2 Karnataka students challenge hijab ban; return home without writing exam

Udupi (Karnataka), April 22 : Two pre-university college students from the Udupi area in the state, who had approached the Karnataka High Court challenging the ban on hijab, returned from the exam center as they were not allowed to write the exam wearing hijab.

The two girls, namely Alia and Resham, arrived in an auto-rickshaw at the exam centre wearing hijab. Visuals of the incident depicted that they insisted that they should be allowed to write the exam wearing hijab but the college authorities citing the High Court order denied them entry. Subsequently, the girls returned home.

Notably, this news comes in the backdrop of the hijab protests in Karnataka that took place in January-February this year when some students of Government Girls PU college in the Udupi district of the state 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.

Stating that wearing the hijab is not an essential religious practice in Islam and freedom of religion under Article 25 of the Constitution is subject to reasonable restrictions, a full bench of the Karnataka High Court on March 16 dismissed a batch of petitions filed by Muslim girls studying in pre-university colleges in Udupi seeking the right to wear hijabs in classrooms.

The Court also upheld an order issued on February 5 by the state, which suggested that wearing hijabs can be restricted in government colleges where uniforms are prescribed — and ruled that “prescription of a school uniform” is a “reasonable restriction” that is “Constitutionally permissible”.

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