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CPI(M) leader writes to Union education minister over hijab row

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CPI(M) leader writes to Union education minister over hijab row
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CPI(M) leader in the Rajya Sabha Elmaram Kareem has written a letter to Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan over what he termed "unfortunate" incidents surrounding the hijab row in Karnataka schools and colleges.

Terming the row as a "deliberate" effort to spark "unnecessary controversy" as well as an attempt to polarise society along communal lines, Kareem questioned why Muslims girls were being "deprived" of their right to education.

"Till now the Muslim girls were wearing the head scarves without any objection. It was disallowed saying that they are not following the common dress code. It is completely a misleading statement. The students have been wearing Hijab along with the uniform since so many years," the official letter stated.

"In some educational institutions the colour of the head scarf is also prescribed for the students to follow uniformity in dress code. In other words, for decades there was no controversy. This is being deliberately manufactured to cause division and arouse communal sentiments," he alleged.

He then requested the Education Minister to urgently intervene in the matter as the Karnataka government was not taking any initiative to curb the controversy nor the ensuing communal polarisation. Kareem said that "the right of students to attend classes should be the primary concern" and that any attempts to disrupt the communal harmony in the state should be met with action.

Karnataka cabinet will discuss the hijab row in a meeting at Vidhana Soudha. As the hijab controversy took a violent turn in Karnataka on Tuesday, the state government declared a three-day holiday for high schools and colleges across the state. They will reopen on February 12.

The Karnataka High Court, which on Tuesday started hearing arguments on a batch of petitions against the hijab ban in classrooms in the state, has requested students and the public to maintain peace and tranquillity in the state. The court will resume the hearing at 2:30 PM today.

Public figures such as Priyanka Gandhi and international icon Malala Yousafzai have spoken out against the prevention of hijab-wearing in schools and colleges, terming it as an unnecessary intervention in the way women dresses as well as a denial of their right to education.

As sporadic violence was seen in Karnataka on Tuesday, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi took a dig at Prime Minister Nrendra Modi and the BJP government.

"The BJP government is not allowing our daughters to wear a hijab and study but PM Narendra Modi talks about empowering Muslim women with the triple talaq law," he said.

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TAGS:Karnataka Hijab row CPI(M) Rajya Sabha 
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