As of Thursday, the Karnataka High Court has begun hearing the remainder of writ petitions concerning the wearing of hijabs by girls in classrooms. A new petition was mentioned by attorney Aditya Chatterjee. The hearing has been adjourned to Friday.
State government orders were awaiting the AG, he told the court. The High Court commented that the state had the right to modify its government order. In a separate case, the court dismissed a petition by a social activist, stating: "We will dismiss this petition. It is not maintainable. We will dismiss your petition with costs. You are testing our nerves.”
Despite diverse religious symbols, like bangles and turbans, being targeted only by the government for wearing a headscarf is a form of harmful discrimination, the advocate for the petitioners told the Karnataka High Court during the hearing on the hijab row. According to him, the discrimination is even worse because there is no uniform for pre-university students in the state, and because of this, there is no rule banning the hijab.
As this case is argued, simmering tension has been raging in Karnataka where earlier this year students were forbidden from wearing the Muslim headscarf, sparking protests and counterdemonstrations that involved saffron scarves and have since spread to other states. After temporary closing schools last week to calm tensions, schools have been gradually reopening in Karnataka over the last two days. During its consideration of the headscarf ban, the Karnataka High Court has temporarily banned all religious symbols from schools.