#HijabRow: CFI leading drum-beating in hijab issue, organising protest, instigating students, alleges Adv Naganand in K'taka HC hearing

Day 9 of the hearing is underway and the court has demanded a report on the Campus Front of India after it was accused of instigating the students to demand wearing the hijab
Pic: Edexlive
Pic: Edexlive

The student organisation, Campus Front of India, has been accused of "instigating" the Muslim girl students of Pre-University College in Udupi to wear hijabs to their class. The allegation was made by Senior Advocate S Naganand who is responding on behalf of the PU College, which was accused of threatening students who demanded to wear their hijabs during the class.

Naganand said that when the students turned up in hijabs and demanded to be let in, the college authorities set up a meeting with their parents and managed to convince them to allow the students to wear the prescribed uniform without the hijab. "However, on December 30, 2021, a few members of the CFI, which is a radical organisation, approached the college authorities and insisted that the students be allowed to wear hijabs. When they were refused, they behaved rashly," submitted the advocate.

The Bench, consisting of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice KS Dixit and Justice JM Khazi, seemed unaware of the organisation. Adv Naganand referred to them as a "rank radical organisation" that is not affiliated with any institution. "It is an organisation that comes and creates a commotion. They have been the ones leading the drum-beating for hijab," said Naganand.

The court then asked a report to be filed on the organisation and Advocate General Prabhuling Navadhgi said that the report will be filed based on any information that the intelligence bureau might have. Advocate Mohammed Tahir, appearing for the petitioners, said that if a report is being submitted on the CFI, it should also be sought on the organisations behind the reports of students turning up in saffron shawls in opposition of the hijab in colleges. 

Advocate Naganand added, "Some teachers were also threatened by their organisation. They were scared to lodge a complaint. A complaint was lodged yesterday by one of the teachers." The court demanded to know why it was not informed about this complaint and inquired if the Advocate General was afraid of doing so. The latter informed the court that he just found out about the complaint.

"Let the drum-beaters on the road not threaten the society," said Naganand in his closing comments, adding that the debate on hijab might lead students to demand to wear saffron shawl and skull caps in the future. "Where is this going to end? We should be harmonising the society," concluded the advocate, pleading with the court to dismiss the petition filed by the Muslim girls in Udupi.

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