The Hijab row escalated in Karnataka on Monday with some girl students of the Mangalore University approaching the deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district seeking permission to wear the Islamic headscarves on the campus.
The 12 students who renewed the demand for wearing Hijab inside educational institutions on Saturday, came to the University College on Monday as well.
Since there is a dress code in place for the students, the university authorities did not allow them to enter on Saturday as well as on Monday.
After they were told to approach the deputy commissioner of the district, three students went to his office and submitted a memorandum.
The deputy commissioner Dr Rajendra K V said the college authorities barred their entry after the university syndicate decided not to allow any cloth, whether Hijab or saffron scarves, that could disturb peace and cited the recent High Court ruling which said Hijab is not an essential religious practice and dress code should be followed in the college where the uniform dress has been prescribed.
Speaking to reporters, Dr Rajendra said some students who were aggrieved with the university syndicate order had approached him.
"I told them that I cannot challenge the decision of the syndicate members at the district level and you have to abide by the order and rules of the syndicate. They also have to look at the legal aspects as well. I have also appealed to them to ensure peace on the college campus," he said.
The vice chancellor of the university P Subrahmanya Yadapadithaya said at a press conference at the Mangaluru Press Club that the university has to abide the High Court and state government's orders.
"We will abide by the HC and state government's orders. If any student faces any problem in its implementation, we will make a sincere effort to resolve the issue," he said.
The girl students have been contending that the order pertained to the pre-university colleges and not degree colleges.
Regarding their representation, a student had said: "We had given a letter to the DC (to review the dress rule) and resolve the matter silently. The issue is going on for one-and-half weeks but it did not attract any publicity because we wanted to resolve the issue legally but the issue got publicity because of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)," a student told reporters.
Citing a WhatsApp chat in the students' group, she claimed that students affiliated to ABVP called upon Hindus to come to the college wearing orange shawl on May 24.
The Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai too, on Saturday, cited the High Court ruling and said everyone must follow the uniform dress rule.
The Karnataka High Court on March 15 dismissed the petition filed by some students of the Government Girl’s Pre-university College in Udupi district seeking permission to wear Hijab on the college campus.
The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi maintained the Hijab is not an essential religious practice and everyone should follow the uniform dress rule.
(With PTI inputs)