Karnataka hijab petitioners turned away from exam centre, likely to lose academic year
As the board exams for students of second pre-university college (PUC) — the equivalent of Class 12 — commenced in Karnataka Friday, the shadow of the hijab row continued.
Two of the petitioners in the hijab case — Aliya Assadi and Resham — were sent away from exam centres Friday for wearing the Islamic headscarf. Two others — Ayesha Almas and Hazra Shifa — didn’t turn up at all in light of the state’s restrictions on hijab.
With this, all six petitioners in the case have been unable to take their exams. The remaining two — Muskan Zainab and Shafa — are first PU students who missed their exams in March.
Aliya Assadi and Resham arrived at the examination centre in Udupi with their hall tickets but were not allowed into the exam room after they refused to remove their hijab, according to purported videos from the campus.
As the students urged that they be allowed to write their exam in a hijab, exam officials and college authorities cited the government’s decision and the high court’s order to deny them permission.
The hijab controversy stems from an Udupi government PUC’s bar on the headscarf in classrooms last year. The state government subsequently barred all clothing of religious nature — including hijab and saffron scarves — in government institutions. When some students approached the Karnataka High Court, it upheld the restrictions, saying in its order last month that wearing of the hijab wasn’t an essential religious practice in Islam.