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Hijab Prohibition in Karnataka prevented thousands of Muslim Girls from pursuing Education: PUCL report

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New Delhi: The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), a well-known rights organization, claimed that the ban on hijab in educational institutions issued by the BJP-led state government and upheld by the Karnataka High Court has prevented thousands of Muslim girls and women in Karnataka from receiving an education.

In its report, PUCL emphasized testimony from students across the state and that the High Court’s ruling infringed several rights.

According to the report, “These rights which have been violated include Right to Education without Discrimination, Right to Equality, Right to Dignity, Right to Privacy, Right to Expression, Right to Non-Discrimination and Freedom from Arbitrary State Action.”

The group stated that the Karnataka government had completely neglected its constitutional obligation because of its “single-minded emphasis on ensuring that the hijab was forbidden in institutions.”

Numerous students were reportedly compelled to drop out of their academic programmes as a result of the instruction.

The rights organization urged Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to revoke the notification that forbade the wearing of the hijab at schools and colleges.

Additionally, it requested the judiciary to look into the reasons behind the government’s “sudden, arbitrary, and unlawful” action.

“The human rights commission and minority commission should register suo motu complaints against the principals and CDCs [college development committees] for violating the fundamental rights of the concerned students and initiate actions at the earliest,” the report stated.

The report also asserted that students were scared to attend schools and colleges as a result of security measures put in place in educational institutions as a consequence of the court case. It also noted situations in which Hindu boys are said to have used WhatsApp groups to send threatening messages.

“They said that they wanted to punish us and kill us, and other similar threats,” the report quoted a student as saying.

Furthermore, students reported to the PUCL team that some boys had dubbed them “O Hijab” and “O Burkha” and harassed them in public. According to the report, several colleges failed to protect their students against harassment and even encouraged bullying.

“When the principal notices us, he chastises us and asks me why we still attend this school. The report quoted a schoolgirl as stating, “Why we continue to wear the headscarf, and other similar mocking queries.