KarnatakaHijab Row Judgment Today Karnataka HC, Schools Shut, Public Gatherings Banned in...

Hijab Row Judgment Today Karnataka HC, Schools Shut, Public Gatherings Banned in Bangalore

Bangalore: Muslim students came to class wearing ‘hijab’ at Government PU College in Kundapura, Udupi district.

Last February, the college’s principal banned students from wearing hijab to class. Condemning this, the Muslim students staged a protest on the same college campus. The issue was hotly debated not only in Karnataka but across the country.

The Karnataka High Court today (Tuesday) announced the verdict in the hijab case that has caused a stir in Karnataka. In turn heavy police security arrangements have been made across the state.

In response, Hindu students also wore saffron. The issue spread not only to Udupi but also to Shivamogga, Ballari, Mandya, Vijayapura, Belgaum, Tumkur and Chikmagalur. Violence erupted in areas including Shivamogga and Davanagere on the 8th of last month.

This created tension in the state. School-colleges were temporarily closed to alleviate this tension. Meanwhile, the state government’s school education department has banned students from wearing religious uniforms other than to appear in class.

Following this, 18 Muslim students filed petitions in the Karnataka High Court seeking an order from the government to allow them to appear in class wearing hijab. The petitions were first heard by a separate judge, Krishna Dixit, who ordered that the petitions be transferred to the Chief Justice’s session, citing constitutional issues.

Following this, a bench of Justices Krishna Dixit and JM Khazi presided over the hearing, which was presided over by Chief Justice Rithuraj Awasthi, and commenced on February 10. The session, which issued an interim order on the first day, barred students from coming to classes wearing religious identity attire.

The trial lasted 11 days. The Karnataka government took up the argument that the hijab should not be allowed to be worn. The petitioners argued that wearing the hijab was a matter of religious freedom. State Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi, Devadatt Kamat and Ravi Varma Kumar appeared for the petitioners. They took their side arguments.

It ended on February 25 after bilateral arguments. Judgment on that day was adjourned without mentioning the date.

The verdict in the hijab case is awaited not only by Karnataka but by the entire country. In this context, the Karnataka High Court has announced that the verdict in the hijab case will be delivered today (Tuesday) at 10.30 am.

Police security arrangements have been made across the state, including the capital Bangalore, to prevent any untoward incidents after the verdict. In Bangalore, 144 restraining orders have been issued for a week. The verdict is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court anyway.

Read Also | Hijab Ban Case Karnataka High Court to Pronounce Verdict on March 15

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