Karnataka Hijab row: CM Bommai orders closure of schools, colleges in state for next 3 days

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New Delhi: Amid a row over wearing hijab in college, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday ordered the closure of schools and colleges in the state for the next three days.

"We are awaiting directions from the Karnataka High Court. I appeal to students to maintain peace and harmony. I have directed school administrations to see there are no clashes between students. I appeal to all concerned persons from outside not to make provocative statements," Karnataka Chief Minister told media persons in Delhi.

Taking to Twitter, Bommai said, "I appeal to all the students, teachers and management of schools and colleges as well as people of Karnataka to maintain peace and harmony. I have ordered the closure of all high schools and colleges for the next three days. Three-day holidays for high schools and colleges announced. All concerned are requested to cooperate."

Protests have erupted at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College in Udupi as students wearing hijab and another group of students wearing saffron stoles-headgears raise slogans on the college campus.

Notably, Karnataka State Primary and High School Education Minister BC Nagesh recently said that the students wearing hijab in Kundapura were allowed to enter college premises as a "courtesy" while maintaining that complying with uniform code is a must.

The Minister made it clear that the students will need to follow the rules. "Ours is not a Pakistani culture. It is Indian culture. These girls aren't aware of the school norms and customs, and they will understand later," Nagesh told media persons.

The Karnataka High Court will hear petitions filed by five women from a government pre-university college in Udupi, questioning Hijab restrictions.

The Hijab protests began on February 4 at the Government Girls PU college in Udupi district when some students alleged that they had been barred from attending classes.The pre-University education board had released a circular stating that the students can only wear the uniform approved by the school administration and no other religious practices will be allowed in colleges. (ANI)

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