Schools closed as Hijab row spirals out of control in India
The government of India’s southern state of Karnataka on Tuesday announced the closure of all high schools and colleges for the next three days as a row continues over the wearing of the hijab, or headscarf, by Muslim girls in classrooms.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has asked the students, teachers and people of Karnataka to maintain peace and harmony.
“I have ordered the closure of all high schools and colleges for next three days. All concerned are requested to cooperate,” he said on Twitter. The issue started when female Muslim students were barred last month from entering their classrooms at a government college in Udupi district in Karnataka because they were wearing the hijab.
Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar deplored the situation at some educational institutions in the state. "The situation in some Karnataka educational institutions has gone so out of hand that in one case the National flag was replaced by a saffron flag. I think the affected institutions should be closed for a week to restore law and order. Teaching can continue online," he said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, video posted on Twitter showing a hijab-wearing Muslim student being heckled by a Hindu far-right mob at a college in Karnataka state has caused outrage amid intensifying protests over ban on Hijab in the southern state.
Muskan Khan was surrounded by men wearing saffron scarves as she arrived at her college in Mandya, the viral video showed, as she confronted the protesters, many of whom, she said, were outsiders.
The ban on Islamic headscarves has outraged Muslim students who say it’s
an attack on their faith enshrined in India’s secular constitution,
while Hindu right-wing groups have tried to prevent Muslim women from
entering educational institutions causing communal tension.