Senior Advocate: Muslim College Students in South India Forced to Choose Faith or Education

Muslim students walk into the Principal's office for a meeting after they were denied entry to PU College while wearing headscarves, in Udupi, Karnataka. (Photo: PTI)

Belanguru, MINA – The Karnataka High Court, south India, continued the trial of the headscarf case on Wednesday starting at around 02:30 p.m local time.

Senior Advocate Yusuf Muchhala told the court that Muslim students, being faced with the ‘Hobsons choice’, were asked to choose between faith and education.

“This violates human rights,” he stressed, India Today reported.

He added, “The purpose of the Education Law is to promote harmony and not to create differences of opinion among students.”

According to him, the Government Order (GO) applies real arbitrariness. Even parents and teachers were not consulted.

“What’s the rush to change the practice that’s been going on in schools since the moment the girls entered? Is it fair to say that to accommodate someone you don’t come to college? This is why I said that there was real arbitrariness,” he told the judge.

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The Karnataka High Court hearing ended on that day. The court will again hear the petition against the hijab ban in educational institutions on Thursday, February 17.

Pre-university and degree colleges in Karnataka reopened on Wednesday. However, altercations between female students and college authorities are reported to still occur in some areas after the girls were asked to take off their headscarves and sit in class.

Meanwhile, Article 144 has been enforced in Bagalkot, Bangalore, Chikkaballapura, Gadag, Shimoga, Tumkur, Mysore, Udupi, and Dakshina Kannada.

Section 144 of the 1973 Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) authorizes the Executive Judge of any state or territory to issue an order prohibiting the gathering of four or more persons in an area. According to the law, any member of the “unlawful association” can be charged with being involved in a riot. (T/RE1)

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Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)