SHRC issues notice to State govt on burqa ban

No institution can curtail the right of the students


Aysha Ashmin. file Photo

Addressing media persons here on Monday, Nayak said the Commission has taken note of the incidents of ban on head scarf and burqa in two colleges in the district and sent a notice to the government seeking action taken report.

Referring to the incidents of head scarf ban in SVS College, Bantwal and burqa ban in Government College, Uppinangady, Nayak said the religious practices should be regarded as ‘matters of religion’.

“The religious freedom guaranteed under Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution embraces not only merely matters of doctrine and belief pertaining to the religion, but also practice of it,” Nayak said adding that an individual school management cannot impose restrictions violating the Articles 25 and 26.

“After closely examining and monitoring the situation in undivided Dakshina Kannada district, it is the considered opinion of the Commission that social harmony in the region is fragile in nature and can be disturbed at any time by a lightest incite or provocation.

Therefore, it is the utmost duty of the State to see that peace prevails and harmony is maintained in the region by undertaking all possible means and measures,” Nayak said.
He said that notices were sent to the Additional Secretary and Principal Secretary to the Home Ministry, Principal Secretary to the Collegiate Education Department, Western Range IGP and Dakshina Kannada district DC seeking reply before October 29.

Further he said notice also has been sent to the State Chief Secretary, Western Range IGP and Dakshina Kannada district DC taking suo motu cognisance of the report appeared in the media with regard to the moral policing in the region.

“Unless the state authorities, particularly the law enforcing authorities, nip these in the bud, there is likelihood of these forces engulfing the entire coastal belt and the state resulting in upsurge of violence,” he noted.

‘Govt not willing to empower SHRC’

“Government is not willing to empower the SHRC because of an anticipation that it may turn against it. Those who are in power know that it will be troublesome for them if the SHRC functions properly in the state,” Justice S R Nayak noted.

Nayak said that the post of an IGP in the Investigation Wing of SHRC remains vacant since July 10. No appointment was made after IGP Bipin Gopalakrishna was transferred from the post, Nayak said adding that the government did not pay heed to the letters sent by the SHRC in this regard.

Nayak said that neither Chief Minister nor Home Minister speak even when the number of custodial deaths and most heinous and barbarous atrocities are increasing in police stations across the state. He said that he had recommended the government to hand over the custodial death case of RT Nagar Police Station and torture case of Amrithahalli Police Station to CBI.

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