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What a few from India could learn from the anti-hijab protest in Iran

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Iran has enforced a strict dress code which requires women to wear head scarves in public, and prohibits tight trousers, ripped jeans, brightly coloured outfits and clothes that expose the knees.

New Delhi, Sep 20: Iran has been witnessing protests over the death of a young woman who had been arrested by the morality police. The authorities said on Friday that Mahsa Amini, 22, died in hospital three days after being in coma. She was arrested by the morality police after she visited the capital on September 13.

What a few from India could learn from the anti-hijab protest in Iran

Reports said that the police provided no information on her arrest other than citing the hijab rule. Her mother said that Amini was detained despite her following the rules. She was wearing a long loose robe. She was arrested despite pleas made by her brother.

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The country witnessed demonstrations and protesters marched down Hijab Street in Central Tehran denouncing the action by the police. While the authorities said that she had a history of illness, her father said that this was untrue.

In Iran, the morality police has enforced a strict dress code which requires women to wear head scarves in public. The authorities have also prohibited tight trousers, ripped jeans, brightly coloured outfits and clothes that expose the knees.

In Iran, it has been a regular feature where women have protested against the imposition of a dress code. A BBC report in May 2018 said that in Tehran alone over 35 female protesters have been arrested since 2017. The women taking part in anti-hijab protests face up to ten years in jail.

During the protests the women chanted slogans against the authorities. Some of them took off the hijab and chanted 'Death to the Islamic republic'.

The protests come at a time when the Supreme Court of India is seized of petitions that have challenged the verdict of the Karnataka High Court on the hijab ban. Last December, six students from Karnataka were barred from entering a government school in Udupi district because they were wearing hijabs.

The Muslim students claimed that their fundamental right to education and religion were being violated. The incident also led to protests and students were locked in a stand-off over the hijab ban.

Iran: Protest over woman's death in custody turns violentIran: Protest over woman's death in custody turns violent

The matter ultimately went to the Karnataka High Court and a batch of petitions challenging the ban were thrown out. The court held that wearing of hijab is not essential religious practice in Islam. The three judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasti said that students cannot object to reasonable restrictions in the form of uniforms. Following this, the Supreme Court was moved.

While rejecting a batch of petitions, the court said that the prescription of a school uniform is only a reasonable restriction. The prescription of a school uniform is also constitutionally permissible, the Bench added.

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