Female Muslim students wearing a hijab are still not allowed inside the classrooms and being marked ‘absent’ as the Pre-University college has denied them entry since three weeks.
Seeking to resolve the issue, CFI (Campus Front of India) and GIO (Girls Islamic Organisation) had approached the college authorities and district collector, however, the girls still continue to be denied permission to enter classrooms even for a single day.
On January 1, reports that hijab-clad Muslim girls of Udupi’s Government PU College were being denied entry into classrooms had triggered massive outrage. Principal Rudra Gowda, did not permit them to wear hijab in the classrooms even though their parents approached the principal for talks and refused to hold a discussion on the issue.
The girls had also complained that they were not being allowed to talk in Urdu, Arabic and Beary languages.
CFI State Committee member Masood told THG that students were threatened and forced to write a letter on Friday, stating that they are not attending classes from 15 days.
“The Principal, along with lecturers threatened the girls that if they don’t write the letter then ‘we know how to make you write’. One girl has even fallen sick due to the mental torture,” said Masood.
The CFI spoke to Deputy Director Office Pre-University (DDPU) and Udupi District Collector Kurma Rao M in regards with the issue.
“We’re taking the students to DC, DDPU, minority commission and plan to give them legal support. But we’re waiting for DC’s take, as he has assured to initiate an action against the principal. Otherwise we’ll go to higher authorities,” he said.
“The Principal’s stand isn’t changing, he’s not allowing the students to enter class with hijab. Students are going through mental torture,” CFI member told THG.
According to reports, the Principal has called for parents meet next week.
Masood further added that even if a single student, wants to wear hijab and enter the class, “We will stand with them till the end and support them with all legal means.”
2nd year PU student Aliya told The Cognate, “If you don’t leave the classroom, I’ll push you out,” a teacher yelled and threatening a student not to step into the classroom with hijab.
“Today, they asked us to sit on the stairs. It felt uncomfortable and humiliating. We used the time to study among ourselves using some notes that we borrowed from other students attending classes.”
“We have missed three weeks of classes and may have a shortage of attendance during a crucial year,” she added.