‘No headscarf allowed inside college premises’

Addressing reporters here on Friday, principal Sr Jeswina said that no student will wear a headscarf. Students will not cover their faces or wear any other clothes except the prescribed college uniform inside the campus, she added. DH photo

St Agnes College in Mangaluru clarified that as per the dress code regulation of the college, the students will wear the uniform prescribed by the college. No other attire is permitted in the college premises throughout the working hours.

Addressing reporters here on Friday, principal Sr Jeswina said that no student will wear a headscarf. Students will not cover their faces or wear any other clothes except the prescribed college uniform inside the campus, she added.

She said that over the years, the college has formed rules and regulations, including the dress code, in the handbook to maintain discipline, uniformity and transparency. This has been followed by all students.

“Recently some of our students, along with some strangers, protested in front of the college gate. Later we when enquired, the students said that they were instigated by the CFI group to protest against the rules and norms of the college,” she claimed.

She said she was pained by the false propaganda and rumours that were spread to malign the name of the faculty and tarnish the image of the college.

The principal clarified that no student has been suspended from the college after the incident.

In fact, all the students who went on the protest (on June 25), especially Fathima Anis Sheikh, III BCom student, were present in the class the very next day and all have continued to attend classes till date. “It was on Wednesday (June 27), that all the students who went on the protest without prior intimation, were asked to give an explanation in writing, in the presence of their parents, within three days,” she said and added that she has not taken any signature from any student on blank papers.

Stating that the admissions of the students are made only on the basis of those regulations and other requirements, she said the students and their parents have agreed to abide by all the rules and regulations of the college.

“We respect every student who chooses to study here. We would like to continue this cordial relationship with our faculty, students, parents, alumni and the public and promote a friendly environment in the campus,” she added.

“We will never compromise or sacrifice the values that we have imbibed from the foundress of our college, Mother Mary Aloysia,” she added.

One of the students stated in her apology letter that they were instigated to protest. “We were called for a discussion during the lunch break on the matter of Namaz outside the gate. However, the CFI took the primary issue to another tangent and connected it to rules relating to the headscarf. We were forced to protest against the college,” the letter said.

To a question on the CFI’s objection of religious sisters (nuns) wearing their dress inside the classrooms, the principal clarified, “We religious sisters are given this dress from the time we dedicate our lives to the religion. About 28% of the students who are pursuing their studies in the college are Muslims. We have given fee concession to 100 students from the community.”

“As over 6,000 girl students study in St Agnes institutions, we have sought police protection for the college,” she said.

Anis, father of one of the students who had protested, said, “The issue has been politicised. If they had any issue, it should have been resolved by the management, parents and students. I have been visiting the college campus for the last 25 years. I feel proud that my child is part of this institution. No outside party should interfere in this kind of matter. I request the college authorities to relook into the issue.”

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‘No headscarf allowed inside college premises’

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