After a controversy erupted over the uniform of a private school in Damoh district, with some claiming that a part of it resembles the hijab, the Madhya Pradesh government has ordered a probe, officials said on Wednesday.
It was alleged that a poster of Ganga Jamuna Higher Secondary School in Damoh showed girls, including Hindu students, wearing headscarves that looked like hijab.
The images were widely shared on social media with some alleging that the girls were forced by the school to wear the hijab.
Damoh, Madhya Pradesh ! Ganga Jamna High School put up the poster of the topper girl students who passed the exam ! Hindu girls seen wearing hijab in the poster: Laxmi Patel, Palak Jain, Vrinda Chaurasia, Rupali Sahu! There is a school dress code too so @ChouhanShivraj pic.twitter.com/M8CfzE3QEL— Praveen Agarwal🇮🇳🚩 (@PRAVEENGUNA) May 31, 2023
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chairman Priyank Kanoongo too flagged the case on Twitter on Tuesday, claiming that the commission has received a complaint that a school in MP’s Damoh district was 'forcing Hindu and other non-Muslim female students to wear a burka and hijab.'
However, on Twitter, the district collector and superintendent of police (SP) said that they did not come across any violation upon investigation.
गंगा जमना स्कूल के टॉपर वाले पोस्टर के मामले में तहसीलदार दमोह की अध्यक्षता में जांच समिति गठित की गई है।— Collector Damoh (@CollectorDamoh) May 31, 2023
जांच समिति को अपनी रिपोर्ट प्रस्तुत करने के निर्देश दिए गए हैं@ChouhanShivraj @mohdept @JansamparkMP pic.twitter.com/z0sM6IxrGI
“We met school students and they denied that they were forced by the school administration to wear hijab. They said they used to wear scarves like hijab to cover themselves and their family has no objection to it. How can we take action without a complainant?” deputy collector RL Bagri was quoted as saying in a report by Hindustan Times.
In December 2021, six young women of the Government Pre-University (PU) College for Girls in Udupi, Karnataka, were barred from sitting for their examinations because they had refused to remove their hijabs as per the state government's ban. Several women and girls came out in support of the right to wear hijab.
The right to wear hijab was defended from the points of view of personal choice and a religious right as well. Reports say that several female students lost substantial time of their academic year as they could not attend school as they were not allowed to study with hijab.