Hijab Ban: They tried to convince authorities for 45 minutes but were eventually not allowed.
In another dramatic development in the Karnataka Hijab ban row, the two students who had first petitioned the court to allow Hijab inside classrooms were today turned away from the examination centre of their final class 12 board examination after they insisted on taking the exams wearing burqas. Aliya Assadi and Resham had collected their hall tickets and turned up donning burqas to take the exams at the Vidyodaya PU College in Udupi. They tried to convince the invigilators and the college principal for around 45 minutes but were eventually not allowed any exception to the court order upholding the state government's ban. They were then seen quietly leaving the premises without taking the exams.
The principal of Vidyodaya college which was the designated examination centre blamed it on the girls.
"We are following the rule. Our exam invigilator tried convincing them but they refused to budge. They clearly had no intention of giving their exams. They just wanted to create an issue," college Principal Sandeep Kumar said.
The exam which began on Friday will go on till May 18. The first paper was Business Studies. Over 6.84 lakh students will write the exam at 1,076 centres across the state. The exams will be held at 1,076 centres across the state amid tight security with cops deployed at various centres to ensure there are no untoward incidents with regard to students following the dress code.
The state Education Minister BC Nagesh has categorically said that students won't be allowed to take their exams in the hijab. This comes in the wake of many Muslim female students requesting the Minister to allow them to wear their hijabs during the final exams.
Many Muslim girls who turned up at the examination wearing hijab said they will remove it inside the separate enclosure and will wear it again after the exam is over.
"Hijab is important and so is writing and passing the exam. Our future depends on our exam results," a Muslim girl student told reporters in Bengaluru, news agency PTI reported.
The hijab controversy has already turned educational institutions politically and communally volatile.
17-year-old Aliya Assadi who is at the forefront of the battle against the state's Hijab ban had last week made a renewed appeal to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai saying that he still had a chance "to stop our future from getting ruined".
In her appeal, Aliya, who is a state-level Karate champion, said the ban on hijab or headscarves will affect many students who want to appear in the Pre-University exams.
"You still have a chance to stop our future from getting ruined. You can make a decision to allow us to write exams wearing hijab. Please consider this. We are the future of this country," she had tweeted.
The Karnataka High Court on March 15 dismissed petitions seeking permission to wear hijab inside the classroom. Upholding the state ban, the court had said that wearing a hijab "is not an essential religious practice of Islam" and that the uniform dress rule should be followed in educational institutions where it has been prescribed.
Last month, over 40 Muslim girl students from Udupi in coastal Karnataka abstained from appearing for the first pre-university examination as they were apparently hurt by the High Court verdict.
The girls had earlier boycotted the practical examinations as well.
The Supreme Court has refused an urgent hearing on the pleas challenging the High Court verdict.