Students in burqa denied entry into UP college; authorities cite ‘dress code’

Girls who came wearing Burqas were not allowed entry into the College premises. | Photo: ANI

Professor Dr AP Singh of Hindu college in Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad district said that they have implemented a dress code for the students and anybody who refuses to follow it will be barred from entering the college campus.

Sana Ejaz |

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MORADABAD (UTTAR PRADESH) — Several girl students of the Hindu college in Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad district Thursday alleged that they were denied entry into the college for wearing burqa, with college authorities maintaining that the college has implemented a dress code for all students, ANI reported.

Female students alleged that their college was not letting them enter the college campus wearing burqa and are compelling them to remove it at the entrance gate.

Following this, a scuffle broke out between the students, the Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha workers, and the college professors who remained adamant about sticking to the prescribed rules. The group submitted a memorandum to include wearing a burqa as a dress code for Muslim women and demanded that the college allows Muslim girls to attend their classes wearing the robe.

A video of the scene from the Hindu college has been making rounds on social media. 

Meanwhile, the college professor, Dr AP Singh said that they have implemented a dress code for the students here and anybody who refuses to follow it will be barred from entering the college campus.

Hijab row started in Karnataka
A row over wearing hijab at educational institutions started on January 1, 2022, when Muslim students studying in the government pre-university (PU) college in Karnataka’s Udupi were barred from wearing the hijab on campus. The college administration stated that they were following the state government’s orders. A day later, six students were suspended for protesting.

Following this incident, students of different colleges arrived at Shanteshwar Education Trust in Vijayapura wearing saffron stoles. The situation was the same in several colleges in the Udupi district.

The pre-University education board had released a circular stating that students can wear only the uniform approved by the school administration and that no other religious practices will be allowed in colleges.

On January 26, the Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government set up an expert committee to find a solution to the issue. On January 31, one of the protesting students filed a petition in the Karnataka high court challenging the ban.

In February, the Karnataka government issued an order under the Karnataka Education Act, 1983 prescribing a uniform for all students to wear in state-run educational institutions. In March, a three-judge bench of the Karnataka HC upheld the hijab ban in all state educational institutions. They held that the wearing of the Hijab was not an ‘Essential Religious Practice’ and hence, would not receive constitutional protection.

Later, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board filed an appeal against the Karnataka HC decision at the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court delivers split verdict on hijab row
The apex court on October 13, 2022, delivered a split verdict in the hijab ban case. 

A top court bench delivered a split verdict in the hijab ban case. Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia set aside the High Court ruling and quashed the state government’s order in his judgement, while Justice Hemant Gupta dismissed the appeals. The arguments in the matter went on for 10 days in which 21 lawyers from the petitioners’ side and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj, Karnataka Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi argued for the respondents. 

The case is now before the Chief Justice of India for his direction.

After hijab ban, over 1,000 Muslim students dropped out of PU colleges in Karnataka: report
The ban on hijab left many Muslim women in India anxious, confused and in despair. A recent report by the human rights group People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Karnataka unit (PUCL-K) on the impact of the hijab ban on Muslim girl students in Karnataka revealed that a total of 1,010 hijab-wearing girls dropped out of PU colleges “because of the hijab ban and other reasons as well.”

The report titled ‘Closing the Gates to Education: Violations of Rights of Muslim Women Students in Karnataka’, noted that Muslim women students [in Karnataka] were not only “actively prevented from accessing their right to education but also bore the brunt of a climate of hate, hostility, and misinformation”.

“Students have faced humiliation and harassment in their own classrooms at the hands of their faculty, college administration and classmates,” the report said. 

Hijab ban forced many Muslim women in Karnataka to drop out of colleges: new report

PUCL conducted the study for the report in five Karnataka districts – Hassan, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Shimoga, and Raichur. 

The report also blamed Hindutva organisations for carrying out a vilification campaign against Muslim students. [With ANI inputs]


Sana Ejaz is an independent journalist from Bihar. She tweets @SanaEjaz