The Karnataka High will declare its verdict tomorrow on the hijab ban issue, which set off a huge controversy in the state earlier this year. A group of students from Udupi had gone to court and challenged the bar on headscarves in the state’s educational institutions.
The students had contended that there is no law that prohibits the use of headscarves in educational institutions.
Hijab, they argued, is protected under the religious freedoms granted by the Constitution and no college development body is equipped to take a call on whether it can be banned in view of public order violation.
The row had started in January as students at a school in Udupi refused to remove headscarves and stop their use despite requests from teachers. Five students then went to court.
As the protests spread, a section of students turned up in saffron scarves, arguing they were also linked to religious identity. Dalit students adopted blue to show support for hijab.
The judge hearing the case in High Court, meanwhile, referred it to a larger bench and in a contentious interim order, ruled that schools and colleges could reopen but no religious clothing, including hijabs, will be allowed.
The order became controversial as students in various schools were forced to remove headscarves before entering campuses. In protest, some students went home. Social media was flooded with multiple such instances and the row over headscarves was seen as a roadblock to education of Muslim girls.