Bengaluru: As the controversy over Hijab continues to rage in Karnataka schools, several students skipped classes and missed their examinations across the state.
While protests continued to disrupt the academic environment across the Malnad region and Mysuru, Mandya and Chamarajanagar districts, the situation was by and large peaceful. However, the number of Muslim girls who attended classes was thin across colleges.
DK Srinivasa Murthy, DDPU, Mysuru, said that in a PU college in Narasimharaja limits, 291 students were absent on Thursday. “There are 293 Muslim students on the rolls. Parents and students informed us that they will attend classes only after the HC verdict. We will conduct online classes for these students,” he said.
Staff at PU and degree colleges said most Muslim girls had skipped classes over the past couple of days. “They are worried about being isolated in classrooms,” a staffer said. More than a dozen students of a school in Nanjangud taluk in Mysuru district skipped classes.
In Kodagu, some 30 students refused to attend classes without their hijabs at Field Marshal KM Cariappa College in Madikeri and returned home. At a PU college in Kudige, nine students returned home. Muslim students in many other schools and colleges were sent back after they refused to remove their hijabs.
In Hassan, a group of students at the Women’s Polytechnic College continued protests, leading to a stand-off even as police stepped in to defuse the situation. “There are only 29 Muslim students in out college and 17 of them protested on Thursday. They were joined by outsiders,” said Manjula Kadam, principal.
The Government First Grade College in Uppinangady declared a two-day holiday as the hijab row simmered and boy students came out in support of their classmates.
Subbappa Kaikamba, principal, said, on Wednesday, students had arrived on the campus with their hijabs on. They were counselled about the high court’s interim order, but they decided to return home. On Thursday, about 50 students arrived with their hijabs on and sought permission to wear the hijab in classrooms.
“I explained to them about the high court’s interim order. That’s when about 50 boys came out in support of the students. They said that if the girls are not allowed to attend classes, they too would boycott classes. I spoke to the joint director, and he suggested that we declare a two day holiday. ” Meanwhile, a section of students demanded that classes be held. They were pacified and sent home.