Brouhaha over wearing headscarf at Srinivas College of Pharmacy

The Campus Front of India (CFI) activists on Saturday staged a protest in front of the Srinivas College of Pharmacy, Valacchil, on the outskirts of the city, demanding to allow students to enter classes wearing headscarf.

The protesters accused the principal and teachers of harassing the students for wearing headscarf inside the classrooms. The students are forced to remove the headscarf while entering the classrooms. The students are threatened of suspension if they fail to abide by the rules of the college, they charged. They held placards which read the college authorities are suppressing the religious freedom of the students. They raised slogans against the college seeking justice.

A first year B Pharm student said, “Senior students were allowed to wear headscraf, but first year students were not. The authorities quote the declaration form signed by the students on dress code which bars  students from wearing headscraf, jeans and T-shirt.”
Another first year student said that they have not been sent out of classrooms so far. “But teachers have warned us when we wore headscarf inside classrooms.”

In a memorandum, the protesters appealed to the college authorities  to change the timings of the classes to benefit the Muslim students to attend the prayers on Friday afternoon. 

Principal Dr A R Shabaraya said the students were given a declaration form with conditions, including bar on wearing headscraf inside classrooms, examination hall, library and office during admission. The students and parents have gone through the form before submitting it, he added.

He said 800 students are pursuing their pharmacy courses in the college. As the declaration forms were not collected from second and fourth semester students, they were allowed to wear headscarfs, he said and added that the declaration forms were collected from the first year students.

There is no restriction on wearing headscarf and moving around in the college campus.  “The dress code is being imposed for the last one month in the college. Some students wore headscarf while entering the classrooms two days ago. But they were not sent out of classes. No students have given any representation to the college authorities seeking permission to wear headscarf,” he added.

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