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Hijab row: Muslim girls seeking admission in Udupi college increases this year

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Mangaluru, Jun 9: The number of Muslim girls getting enrolled at the college where the Hijab row erupted has increased this year, Udupi MLA Raghupati Bhat said on Thursday.

Hijab row: Muslim girls seeking admission in Udupi college increases this year

The Government Women's Pre-University College in Udupi was at the centre of a controversy after refusing Muslim girls to wear hijab in the classes in January. There were apprehensions that the number of Muslim girl students will come down due to the controversy, but 40 students have already got admitted to the first year of PU in the college, PTI reported.

In 2005, 674 Muslim girls were enrolled in PU colleges in Udupi district. However, the number increased to 943 in 2010, 1,169 in 2015, and 1,446 in 2021.

The BJP MLA, who is the president of the college development committee, said that the Muslim students have agreed to remove the hijab inside classrooms. The college recorded good results in the last academic year despite the hijab-related incidents, he claimed.

Six girl students of the college had approached court seeking permission to wear hijab while attending classes. They were insisting on wearing hijab after the Karnataka High Court judgment to adhere to the dress code in institutions. They did not write the final examinations citing the same reason. Though there were apprehensions that the number of Muslim girl students will come down in the wake of the hijab row, 40 students have already got admitted to first year of PU in the college.

Meanwhile, the government first grade college at Uppinangady in Dakshina Kannada district revoked the suspension of six girls, who were suspended last week for insisting on wearing hijab.

The students have given an undertaking on Wednesday that they will abide by the dress code, college development committee sources said. The students attended classes on Wednesday, the sources added.

Sanjeeva Matandoor, Puttur BJP MLA and chairman of the college development committee, said the students were directed to give the undertaking in writing for revocation of the suspension. The high court in March had dismissed the petitions seeking permission to wear hijab inside the classroom. The prescription of school uniform is only a reasonable restriction, constitutionally permissible which the students cannot object to, the high court had said.

The full bench of the Karnataka High Court upheld the order restricting students from wearing any religious cloths inside educational institutions' premises. The prescription of school uniform is only a reasonable restriction, constitutionally permissible which the students cannot object to, a three-judge High Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi further said.

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