The Karnataka High Court had temporarily banned religious clothes earlier this month as the controversy over Muslim students wearing hijabs in classrooms spread across the state and led to a case. Karnataka High Court Clarifies: Temporary Hijab ban is only for students, not teachers.
The temporary ban on religious attires such as the hijab and saffron scarves in schools and colleges of Karnataka applies only to students and not teachers, the High Court clarified on Wednesday. Teachers along with students were not allowed to enter schools and colleges for wearing the hijab in many parts of the state since then.
On Wednesday, after Mohammad Tahir, an advocate representing one of the student petitioners, stated that teachers too were being stopped at the gates, Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi clarified that its order applied only to students. The court also clarified that its February 10 order will apply to both the degree colleges and pre-university colleges where the uniform had been prescribed.
The controversy over the hijab erupted in Karnataka late last year after some college students in the Udupi district were stopped from wearing the religious headscarves in classrooms. The standoff quickly spread to other parts of the state and even beyond and saw demonstrations and ugly face-offs as some Hindu groups opposed to the hijab held protests in schools and colleges wearing saffron scarves.
On February 5, Karnataka banned “clothes that were against law and order” and on February 10 the High Court temporarily banned all religious outfits as it heard petitions challenging the restrictions. The petitioners, including a dozen Muslim female students, have told the court that wearing the hijab was a fundamental right guaranteed under India’s constitution and an essential practice of Islam.