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Hijab row: Decision on reopening PU and degree colleges likely next week, says Karnataka Home Minister

The government on Thursday had decided to resume classes for high school students from February 14
harath Joshi
Last Updated : 11 February 2022, 15:53 IST
Last Updated : 11 February 2022, 15:53 IST
Last Updated : 11 February 2022, 15:53 IST
Last Updated : 11 February 2022, 15:53 IST

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Karnataka government is likely to reopen pre-university and degree colleges sometime next week depending on how the law-and-order situation unfolds when high schools resume classes from Monday under the shadow of the polarising hijab controversy.

“We’re opening high schools on Monday. After one or two days, based on the situation, a decision will be taken (on colleges),” Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said, briefing reporters after meeting Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Bommai reviewed the preparedness of law enforcement as high schools are set to reopen. He had ordered a three-day closure of high schools and colleges after protests for and against the use of hijab in educational institutions turned violent. High schools will resume classes from Monday on the back of an interim order by the High Court.

“We don’t want any untoward incidents to occur. In sensitive districts, police superintendents and deputy commissioners have been directed to visit school premises and tell managements to ensure nothing goes wrong,” Jnanendra said.

“The academic atmosphere has suffered due to Covid-19 over the last two years. There’s still 20-25% of the syllabus left to be covered. At this stage, parents and students need to be given confidence,” Jnanendra said.

The police have been asked to keep vigil on rumour-mongering and inflammatory content on social media. “Even minor incidents should be dealt with seriously without succumbing to any pressure. In case of any incident, immediate action should be taken. Local administrators have been given power to act without waiting for orders from higher-ups,” he said.

It was also decided in the meeting to give the media “the correct picture of the ground reality”, according to Jnanendra. “The HC order will be complied with fully,” he added.

‘Parents’ role being probed’

Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said there is information that parents of several students involved in the hijab row are linked to religious outfits. “Not just the Mandya girl (who shouted Allah hu Akbar), but we are aware that parents of other students have links with religious groups. We’re investigating how much of this situation was caused by them,” Jnanendra said.

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Published 11 February 2022, 13:12 IST

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