NEW DELHI : Hijab-wearing students of Hindu PG College in Indian state of Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad city are up in arms against the college authorities who have “forced them to remove their burqas at the entrance” of the campus.
The girl students and their male counterparts held a protest outside the campus.
Eram Fatima, a student at the college, said she was stopped from entering the college on Tuesday. She was told that she would be allowed to enter only if she removed her hijab.
Another student, Mantasha, said that when she went to submit a form, she was told first to remove her hijab before entering the campus.
College authorities claimed that they have made the dress code mandatory to enter college.
Chief Proctor of the college, Dr. A.P. Singh, said the college has implemented a dress code for all students. Accordingly, “we have decided that none of the students will be allowed entry into the premises if they are not wearing the college uniform,” he said.
The developments at the Moradabad college have striking similarities with incidents in Karnataka where hijab-wearing students were barred from entering educational institutions by the Bharatiya Janata Party government. The Karnataka High court also upheld the decision. However, the Supreme Court gave a split judgment in this regard.
On the issue, Hindu PG College students confronted the authorities and submitted a memorandum.
Aslam Chaudhry, President of Samajwadi Party’s youth wing, Samajwadi Chatra Sabha in Mordabad, led the protest against the college authorities over the burqa ban. Talking to Clarion India, Chaudhry said that they were receiving complaints from some guardians for some time that girl students were forced to remove their hijab at the college entrance itself.
“Muslim society follows a culture. Most Muslim women observe hijab. They are allowed to step out of their homes only with a hijab. If they are asked to remove their hijab at the college entrance, it will deprive them of education. This is what we were opposing,” said Chaudhry.
He said that he met the principal of the college and submitted a memorandum. In the memorandum, it was pointed out that there was a common room for girl students. The students should be allowed to remove their burqa in that room and not at the entrance.
“It would not be a big thing if the college authorities would accept this demand. If students are forced to remove their hijab in the open, they would feel humiliated,” he said.
However, the college authorities insist that a changing room can be arranged at the entrance instead of inside the campus. Chaudhry said that he was ready to accept this proposal too but the proposed space for the change room is inundated with water. If the room is cleansed, it could be welcomed.
However, the hijab-wearing students are demanding that they be allowed to wear a burqa along with the dress code. At some colleges in the district, girls wear a burqa along with adhering to the dress code.KMS