Parliament Budget Session: Congress, other Opp parties walk out of LS over hijab row


New Delhi: Opposition parties on Tuesday staged a walkout of the Lok Sabha in the ongoing Budget Session of the Parliament in protest over the Karnataka hijab row.

Several protests have erupted in Karnataka after some students were allegedly denied entry to college wearing hijab, a headscarf worn by Muslim women earlier this month.

The political parties that staged a walkout of the Lower House include Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (CPI), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).

Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who was among the lot that walked out of the House in protest, demanded that government give its opinion on the issue.

"We raised the issue on hijab. Wearing a hijab is not a crime in our country, which is believed to be a secular country in the world. Each and every religion has the liberty to continue their culture, their practices without being prohibited. But now, in the country, some sort of moral policing has been conducted on the sisters of our Muslim population," he said.

The Congress MP asserted that the denial to students to attend classes wearing hijab is creating a fissure in the society.

"That is why we lodged the protest that government should come out and give a statement of what is their opinion on the atrocities being committed upon the Muslim girls in Karnataka and other places in the name of hijab. The government did not pay head to our demand, that is why we staged a walkout in protest," he said.

Earlier in the day, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that students must adhere to the dress code.

"All students must follow the dress code prescribed by the schools/administration. Law and order must be maintained in the State. We need to see who are these people instigating the students," Joshi said.

Karnataka High Court, during the hearing in hijab row, appealed to students to maintain peace and tranquility so that the public is not disturbed. The court has posted the matter for further hearing tomorrow.

Amid a row over wearing hijab in college, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday ordered the closure of schools and colleges in the state for the next three days.

Notably, Karnataka State Primary and High School Education Minister BC Nagesh recently 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.

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 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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