K'taka suspends seven teachers who allowed students to write SSLC exam with hijab

There were reports of right-wing groups pressurising the school authorities to take action against the invigilators who allegedly allowed the students to wear their hijabs in the exam hall
Student wearing hijab on the way to write the SSLC exam in Karnataka | Pic: EPS
Student wearing hijab on the way to write the SSLC exam in Karnataka | Pic: EPS

Seven exam invigilators at CS Patil School in the Gadag district of Karnataka have been suspended from their duty after it came to light that they had allowed Muslim students to wear their hijabs in the exam hall. 

SSLC Class X exams are underway in Karnataka on the heels of a massive controversy surrounding the wearing of hijabs by Muslim students in educational institutions. The matter was taken to the Karnataka High Court by seven Muslim girl students of a PU college in Udupi after they were denied permission by their institution to wear their hijabs. The Karnataka government then put out an order directing students to follow the dress code set by respective institutions and went on to add that the hijab is not an essential religious practice of the Islamic faith. 

The Karnataka High Court, after 11 days of hearing and about three weeks of reviewing the argument, concluded that hijab cannot be allowed in the classrooms in institutions where a uniform had been prescribed. It is to be noted that the order did not mention exams written at various centres. 

The Karnataka government, however, issued an order last week, banning the hijab from exam halls. Almost 40 Muslim girl students in Udupi boycotted their PU exams this week, including two of the petitioners in the case. 

Petitions have also been filed in the Supreme Court, challenging the state government's order. The Supreme Court has, however, dismissed leaves of urgent appeal that have been filed by advocates claiming that the future of the Muslim students was on the line, given the ongoing exams. The Supreme Court said, "Give us some time, the matter has nothing to do with exams."

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