The Udupi Pre-university College (PUC) in Karnataka, where the Hijab row began, has now barred 3 Muslim girls from attending their practical examinations that commenced on Monday (February 28). The development took place after they demanded permission to write exams in their hijab in complete violation of the interim order of the Karnataka High Court.

As per reports, the three students had also asked the PUC principal Rudre Gowda to postpone the exams. They alleged that Gowda had threatened them with a police complaint. One of the students and a petitioner in the hijab case, Almas AH, said, “We requested the principal today (February 28) once again to allow us to write the exam.”

She further claimed, “For two months we did not have classes but we watched YouTube videos and prepared for the exam and we thought we would get to write the exams. The principal didn’t allow it and said that if we stay there for five more minutes, he will file a police complaint.”. 

“Right now we should have been in our labs attending the practicals not compelled to leave. The hopes I had from college and my dreams are getting shattered due to the hatred sowed against hijab,” she claimed in a tweet on February 28.

It must be mentioned that Almas AH and 2 other female Muslim students wanted to appear for their practical examinations in a hijab but the college administration refused to entertain their demands. While speaking to The Telegraph India, principal Rudre Gowda clarified that the students refused to listen to him when he asked them to comply with the court’s order.

“I spoke to them for several minutes trying to convince them to appear for the exams by removing their hijab. I asked them to comply with the conditions and give their exam even after 9.30am. But they just refused to listen to me,” he informed.

‘Hijabi’ students across Karnataka flout HC order

Earlier on February 24, the 6 girls behind the ‘Hijab row’ had written to the PUC board, seeking a postponement in their practical exams. Inspired by Almas AH to prioritise ‘Hijab’ over ‘kitaab‘, female Muslim students in other colleges in the State also insisted to write their exams in hijabs.

The colleges include Government Pre-University College and Bhandarkar’s College of Arts and Sciences in Kundapura and Dr G Shankar Government Women’s First Grade College in Udupi. But, they were too barred from writing exams in line with the interim order of the Karnataka High Court.

“When we came to the college gates to request access to the library or to request permission to write the exam, we have been sent back from the gates itself by police personnel,” the News Minute quoted a ‘hijabi’ Muslim girl as saying.

Karnataka HC affirms hijab ban in colleges that have prescribed uniform

Earlier last week, the chief justice of the Karnataka High Court, Rituraj Awasthi, reiterated the interim order passed by the court on 10th February 2022, that prohibited students from wearing religious dresses in the classrooms, stating that it will apply to both degree colleges as well as pre-university colleges where a uniform code is prescribed. The court further clarified that the order is applied only to the students and does not apply to the teachers.

The order came weeks after the Karnataka High Court passed an interim order, banning any kind of religious attires in educational institutes. The order, which was passed by Karnataka HC on February 10, asked students to refrain from wearing anything religious in nature till the disposal of the case.

Karnataka hijab controversy

Last month, some Muslim students from the PU College in Karnataka filed a petition in the High Court to allow them to attend classes wearing Hijab. They were denied entry into classes because the college management stated that the hijab is not part of the uniform and it cannot be allowed in classes. Since then, the ‘students’ have been protesting while wearing burqas.

The Muslim students had started wearing hijab and burqa to their school, college in defiance of the uniform rules since December 2021 after coming in touch with the Campus Front of India (CFI), the student wing of the Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) in October 2021. The students had admitted being in consultation with the CFI.



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