Will look into it, says Karnataka govt on revoking hijab ban

    Bengaluru,UPDATED: May 24, 2023 19:19 IST

    By Sagay Raj, Anagha, Abdul Basheer: The Congress-led Karnataka government has said it will look into the hijab ban in educational institutions after Amnesty India sought the revocation of the ban.

    In a series of tweets, Amnesty India on Tuesday asked the Karnataka government to take three priority actions for human rights, including the immediate revoking of the ban on women wearing hijabs in educational institutions.

    On the revocation of the hijab ban currently in effect, Karnataka minister and senior Congress leader G Parameshwara said the government “will see to it in the future”.

    “We will see in future what best we can do. Right now, we have to fulfil the five guarantees we made to the people of Karnataka,” Parameshwara was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

    The government’s stand was reiterated by minister Priyank Kharge, who said it is a policy issue and the government will explore legal avenues to address the issue.

    The hijab row erupted in Karnataka after the BJP-led state government issued an order that said uniforms were compulsory in schools and colleges and no exception could be made for the wearing of the hijab. The same was upheld by the Karnataka High Court.

    Later, Muslim students opposed the order in the Supreme Court and refused to attend classes until the final verdict is out. The matter is currently with the top court.

    Meanwhile, Congress MLA NA Haris has called the hijab ban “unconstitutional”, highlighting the importance of individual freedom to decide what to wear.

    “The government can’t interfere in personal freedom. If the BJP did that, then it is unconstitutional. We are here to uphold the Constitution,” Haris said, indicating that any future action on the issue will be carried out within constitutional boundaries.

    AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi has also called for lifting of the hijab ban, calling it a violation of cultural rights.

    However, the BJP has made it clear that it will oppose any move to revoke the hijab ban. “We will oppose this move by the Congress government,” said senior BJP leader R Ashok.

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