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Row erupts again in Uppinangady college as six hijab-clad students are suspended- Mrit News

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Row over Muslim girls wearing hijab in classrooms erupted again at the Government First Grade College at Uppinangady in Dakshina Kannada on Thursday, as six girls have been suspended for defying the college dress code.

Students boycotted classes over the dress code issue — some for and some against — even as a television journalist who had gone to the college for reporting complained to the police that a group of students had heckled, threatened, and confined him up in a room.

Sources said that some students turned up at the college sporting saffron shawls stating that the college was allowing some hijab-wearing girls into the classrooms and came out of the classes as a mark of protest. At the same time, another group of students came out protesting against the suspension of six girls for wearing hijab in classrooms and demanded that their suspension be revoked.

Sanjeeva Matandoor, chairman of the College Development Committee and also Puttur MLA, told The Hindu that the college had introduced a dress code long ago. A majority of the about 40 Muslim girls in the college remove the hijab in the ladies’ room and later attend classes in accordance with the order of the High Court of Karnataka. As six girls were not ready to follow the dress code, the college suspended them three days ago, he said. The saffron shawl wearing students maintained that even after the suspension some had turned up for classes wearing the hijab and some others had started wearing the headscarf after seeing them.

A Special Officer at the office of the Joint Director of Collegiate Education, Mangaluru Region, said the office had sought a report from the college on the developments, confirming that the college had suspended six girls.

When the controversy over the hijab was at its peak before the final verdict of the High Court, a row had hit the same college which had witnessed protests by students.

Meanwhile, in his complaint to the Uppinangady police, the journalist said the group of students forced him to delete the video recordings, which included the statement of the college principal, from his mobile phone after heckling and confining him in a college room. A group of about 25 students also questioned him for entering the college and sought to know whether he had obtained permission for it, he said.

The Dakshina Kannada Union of Working Journalists has condemned the incident. President of the union Srinivas Nayak Indaje has urged the police to take legal action against the students. A delegation of the union would meet the Dakshina Kannada Superintendent of Police in this regard on Friday, he said.

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