Hijab row: Congress leaders triggering tensions in the state, says Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra

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Bengaluru (Karnataka): Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on Wednesday accused Congress leaders of triggering tensions in the state over the ongoing Hijab row.

“Congress leaders are pouring ghee on to the burning flame in Karnataka. Their statements are triggering more tension in the state,” said Jnanendra.

The minister also refuted a claim by Karnataka Pradesh Congress chief DK Shivakumar that a student in a college replaced the National flag with a saffron flag, stating that Shivakumar falsely accused the students of taking down the national flag and that there was no tricolour flying in the college.

“DK Shivakumar has spoken irresponsibly and triggered more tension. It is such an irresponsible and slanderous statement that is coming from a senior Congress leader. We should not instil religious feelings in the minds of students,” he said.

“The Congress is currently in the opposition position in the state, and if the same trend continues, the people will throw the party into the Arabian Sea,” he added.

Shivakumar on Tuesday tweeted, “The situation in some Karnataka educational institutions has gone so out of hand that in one case the National flag was replaced by a saffron flag.”

“Some anti-national elements allied with BJP have brought down the national flag in a college in Shimoga,” reads another tweet.
The Hijab protests began in January this year when some students at the Government Girls PU college in Udupi district in Karnataka alleged that they had been barred from attending classes. During the protests, some students claimed they were denied entry into the college for wearing hijab.

Following this incident, students of different colleges arrived at Shanteshwar Education Trust in Vijayapura wearing saffron stoles. The situation was the same in several colleges in the Udipi district.

The pre-University education board had released a circular stating that students can wear only the uniform approved by the school administration and no other religious practices will be allowed in colleges.

Following these protests, a three-day holiday from February 9 has been declared in all the universities under the Department of Higher Education and colleges under the department of Collegiate and Technical Education (DCTE).

On Tuesday, the Karnataka High Court also appealed to the student community and the public at large to maintain peace and tranquillity while hearing various pleas challenging a ban on hijab in the state. (ANI)

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