Karnataka govt committed to implementing HC interim order on Hijab row, minister tells Assembly

Karnataka govt committed to implementing HC interim order on Hijab row, minister tells Assembly
The Karnataka government on Tuesday asserted that it was committed to implementing the High Court’s interim order on the Hijab row. This was in response to the issue raised by Congress MLA and its deputy leader in the legislative assembly, U T Khader, during the zero hour, expressing concern over “confusion and interpretation” of the court order, during its implementation on ground.

“The Education Minister will give reply to the issue raised by Khader, but I want to assure that the government is committed to implement the court order,” Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy said on behalf of the government.

Raising the issue, Khader citing Hijab controversy said the situation at educational institutions these days is “painful”, and as the matter is before the court, he would not like to go into detail.

He said, “but what makes me raise the issue, is after the court order (interim order), we have seen media reports that in some schools in Shivamogga district students were not allowed to write the class 10 preparatory exam (for wearing Hijab).”

Noting that there is confusion among people about the court order and what is being implemented on ground, the MLA citing the interim order said, “when the court order is regarding the colleges, it is being implemented at schools, even at the primary school level, so a confusion has been created.”

He also said that, while the order is regarding students’ dress code, it is being wrongly interpreted and even teachers and staff are not being permitted to wear headscarfs, creating a confusion.

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“The duty of the government is to provide education, and not to create hindrance in providing education. The Court order has to clearly be implemented at the ground level and it is the responsibility of the government to create a conducive environment for students to get education by clearing the confusion,” he said, adding that, regarding the issues between constitutional rights, discipline and rules- the court will decide.

As some Congress legislators wanted to speak on the issue, Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri did not allow them, stating that it cannot be permitted, as the issue was raised during the zero hour.

As protests for and against the hijab intensified in different parts of Karnataka and turned violent in some places, the government had declared a holiday for all high schools and colleges in the state for three days, from February 9, and it was subsequently extended up to February 16.

However, the Karnataka High Court, in its interim order pending consideration of all petitions related to the hijab row, last week had requested the state government to reopen educational institutions and restrained all the students from wearing saffron shawls, scarves, hijab and any religious flag within the classroom.

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