The social democratic party of India (SDPI) on Wednesday charged the BJP with 'sponsoring' and 'promoting' the hijab-saffron shawl issue in educational institutions in Karnataka.
Addressing reporters here, SDPI state general secretary B R Bhaskar Prasad alleged that the entire issue is a ‘criminal act’ sponsored by the BJP government in the state.
Noting that the constitution never barred Muslim women wearing hijab, he alleged that the issue was created by a college principal which was later taken up by the Sangh Parivar outfits.
He sought to know why hijab should be banned as a religious symbol when Hindu symbols like thread and ‘nama’ are allowed. He also accused the Congress of adopting ‘double standards’ on the issue.
SDPI state president Abdul Majeed, who was also present, said the High Court interim order is applicable only to colleges where development committees have prescribed a dress code. The district administrations and the education department are creating confusion over the order, he charged.
He said KPCC president D K Shivakumar should clarify the stand of the Congress on the issue. The party does not want to address the problems of Muslims though they want minority votes, Majeed said.
Meanwhile, National Women’s Front, the women’s wing of Popular Front of India (PFI) alleged that Muslim girls are being subjected to mental harassment over the hijab issue.
At a press meet here, NWF Dakshina Kannada district president Zulaikha Bajpe condemned the attitude of some school administrations and teachers who are 'torturing' girl students under the pretext of implementing the High Court order.
She said while the order is limited to pre-university colleges, the authorities are forcing students and teachers of other colleges also to remove their headscarves in public places.
Such acts amount to denial of the fundamental rights of Muslim students, she claimed.