Ours is not a Pakistani culture: Karnataka education minister on hijab row


Students stage a protest in support of those who are protesting in favour of Hijab after allegedly denying entry of Students wearing hijab to Government PU College in Karnataka's Kundapur, on Saturday. (ANI Photo)

Mysuru (Karnataka): Karnataka State Primary and High School Education Minister BC Nagesh on Monday said that the students wearing hijab in Kundapura were allowed to enter college premises as a "courtesy" while maintaining that complying with uniform code is a must.

"Students protesting outside the campus were allowed inside as a courtesy. They were asked to respect the uniform code and attend classes. They chose to sit in a separate classroom and continued protests. Students must adhere to dress code to attend classes," the state education minister said.

The minister said it is Indian culture to welcome guests that the students were asked to come inside the campus while they were protesting outside the Government PU College against the prohibition on wearing of Hijab. While the students were allowed to enter the college premises, no classes took place.

"Ours is not a Pakistani culture. It is Indian culture. These girls aren't aware of the school norms and customs, and they will understand later," Nagesh told media persons here today.

The minister made it clear that the students will need to follow the rules. "They will not be allowed in the classrooms at any cost. This is happening only in Kundapura. They were sitting on the road. The MLA himself has taken the decision on humanitarian grounds to allow students back in the premises," he added.

The minister urged students to follow the "law of the land".

"No classes will be conducted if students don saffron, green shawls or Hijab. If they want to study in classrooms, then the uniform code as prescribed by the schools or administration must be respected by the students," he said.

Nagesh also said that they will wait for the High Court orders.

The High Court will hear petitions filed by five women from a government pre-university college in Udupi, questioning Hijab restrictions.

The Hijab protests began on February 4 at the Government Girls PU college in Udupi district when some students alleged that they had been barred from attending classes.

The pre-University education board on Saturday had released a circular stating that the students can only wear the uniform approved by the school administration and no other religious practices will be allowed in colleges. (ANI)

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