Published: 14th September 2023
Goa school students protest against unjustified suspension of principal
The protesting students said that they were not forced to wear a hijab but a scarf when attending workshop at a mosque
After the principal of Keshav Smruti Higher Secondary School, South Goa was suspended over the Hijab row, the students of the school took out a protest rally to show their dissent over the suspension and demanded revocation of the order immediately, according to IANS.
Why was the principal suspended?
The principal Shankar Gaonkar was suspended on Monday, September 11, by the authorities after local Hindu organisations alleged that he allowed students to visit a mosque, where they were allegedly forced to wear a hijab.
One of the protesting students said that they were not forced to wear a hijab but were asked to wear a dupatta and a scarf, a gesture that is born out of reverence, and that the suspension order must be immediately revoked.
Pandurang Korgaonkar, Chairman of Keshav Smruti Higher Secondary School, said that the protesting students have been informed that the orders cannot be revoked as an inquiry is pending.
“They took out a rally after the school hours. I have told them that at present I can’t revoke the suspension as inquiry is pending,” Korgaonkar said.
He further added that they had received a letter from a Muslim organisation about an educational workshop, where 22 of their students had attended the workshop, which included two Hindu and two Christian girl students.
There were other students of the government higher secondary school for this workshop, who wore a scarf while entering the mosque as is their tradition.
The chairman also said that they had tendered an apology to everyone who had called him and also informed that the principal's intention was non-malicious and had no intent to hurt religious sentiments.
"They (students) were not forced to wear a scarf, but teachers and students voluntarily wished to wear it. The organisation had conducted a programme — 'Mosque open for all'. It was just an educational workshop, which students attended," he said, also adding that an apology was also tendered to Bajrang Dal and other Hindu organisations, whose sentiments are hurt.