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Karnataka Hijab Row: CM Bommai Appeals For Peace Ahead Of High Court's Order

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai also appealed to the schools in the state to follow mandatory uniform rules as issued by the government until the high court order comes out.

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Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai

Ahead of the Karnataka High Court hearing on a petition over the 'hijab' row, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday appealed to everyone to maintain peace and said his government will take steps after the court's order. 

He also asked educational institutions to follow mandatory uniform rules issued by the government until the court's order comes out. 

Speaking to reporters after landing in the national capital, Bommai said, "The matter is before the high court and it will be decided there. Therefore, I appeal to everyone to maintain peace and no one should take steps to disturb the peace." 

"All should follow the state's order (on uniform) and tomorrow the court's decision will come and, therefore, we will take steps," he added. 

The Karnataka High Court will on Tuesday hear the petitions filed by five girls studying in a Government Pre-University College in Udupi, questioning the restriction on wearing hijab in college.

Bommai noted that the Constitution has mentioned in several ways what kind of dress to be worn in schools and colleges and even the state's Education Act has made it clear in the Rules.

Asked why the 'hijab' row has refused to die down in the state, the CM said this issue is not limited to Karnataka as it has been discussed in a big way in states such as Kerala and Maharashtra where the matter was decided by high courts. 

The Karnataka government on February 5 had issued an order making uniforms prescribed by it or managements of private institutions mandatory for its students at schools and pre-university colleges across the state.

The issue has refused to die down across the state as a section of Muslim girls are adamant on wearing headscarves to college, while the state government has cracked the whip making uniforms mandatory for students attending classes in educational institutions.

There have been several instances during the last few days, especially in coastal Karnataka, where some Muslim girl students, turning up in hijab, were not being allowed into classes, and Hindu boys responding with saffron shawls, also being barred from classes.

The hijab row has also taken a political colour, as the ruling BJP has stood strongly in support of uniform-related rules being enforced by educational institutions, calling the headscarf, a religious symbol, while the opposition Congress has come out in support of protesting Muslim girls.

The issue that initially began in January at a Government PU College in Udupi where six students who attended classes wearing headscarves in violation of the stipulated dress code were sent out, has spread to a few other colleges in the city and in nearby Kundapur and Byndoor.

There have also been reports of similar instances of students turning up at educational institutions with either hijab or saffron shawl in Ramdurg PU College in Belagavi and a college in Hassan, Chikkamagaluru and Shivamogga, and also a group of girls staging demonstration in Mysuru and Kalaburagi in favour of the hijab.

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