Karnataka: Amidst growing protests over the hijab issue, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday, February 10, said that the students of classes 1 to 10 can attend schools from Monday. The state government has decided to open schools and colleges in a phased manner.
An announcement regarding the opening up of schools for classes 11 and above will be made later, the Karnataka CM said.
“I appeal to everyone to work together and see that there is peace in the colleges. Schools will reopen from Monday for classes up to 10th standard. Degree colleges will reopen later,” CM Bommai said.
No religious clothes until hijab row settled
Meanwhile, the Karnataka High Court today said that colleges in the state can reopen but students cannot be allowed to wear any piece of clothing that is religious till the matter is resolved.
A three-judge bench of the court heard petitions challenging the state government’s ban on the wearing of ‘hijabs’ by students in college. The high court will hear the matter next on Monday at 2.30 pm.
“We will pass an order. But till the matter is resolved, no student should insist on wearing religious dress,” Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi said.
The Karnataka HC also directed the state to reopen schools and colleges which the chief minister had shut for three days as protests over the ban escalated earlier this week.
The issue grabbed headlines earlier this month when a government-run school in Karnataka’s Udupi district barred students wearing hijabs from entering classrooms, triggering protests outside the school gate.
More schools in the state followed with similar bans, forcing the state’s top court to intervene.
The uneasy standoff has raised fears among Muslim students who say they are being deprived of their religious rights in the Hindu-majority nation. On Monday, hundreds of students and parents took to the streets to protest the restriction.
The dispute in Karnataka has set off protests elsewhere in India. A number of demonstrators were detained in the capital, New Delhi, on Thursday, and students and activists have also marched in cities including Hyderabad and Kolkata in recent days.