Protest against Hijab ban in Kerala school: 12 student leaders jailed

New Delhi, Sep 27 (KMS): Twelve student activists belonging to the Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) including its Kerala state committee members were sent to judicial custody for 14 days by a court in Indian state of Kerala for protesting the hijab ban in a school in Kozhikode district.

Protests erupted by the SIO, the Girls Islamic Organisation (GIO), and the Muslim Students Federation (MSF) outside Providence Girls Higher Secondary School in Kozhikode, where an 11th-grade Muslim girl was forced to drop out because she was not permitted to wear a hijab to school.

The Muslim student groups have been demanding that the state education department stop its affiliation with the school as the school is taking an anti-constitutional step.

“Those arrested include SIO national committee member Muhammad Saeed TK, state campus secretary Thashreef KP, state committee member Adv. Rahman Irikkoor and others,” Rashad VP, SIO state secretary told media.

“Two women activists who were arrested got bail today,” he said.

While condemning the arrest of the student activists, Rashad said that the protests against the hijab ban will continue until justice is delivered.

The student leaders were charged under IPC Sections 143, 147, 148, 283, 353, 332, and 149.

The Muslim student in Providence Girls Higher Secondary School in Kozhikode had to leave the school last Tuesday after the school authorities said she would not be allowed to wear hijab.

The 16-year-old girl who was issued a transfer certificate, joined Govt Model Higher Secondary School, Kozhikode.

At the time of admission, the student who sought admission at the school for the Plus One course was reportedly told by the school authorities that she could not wear a shawl or scarf, as it was not part of the school uniform.

The student told media that she won’t be able to study at any school without wearing a hijab.

Mustafa, the student’s father told reporters that they had repeatedly asked the school authorities if the student could cover her head, as part of her religious beliefs, but the school authorities said that they could not bend rules for her.

Muslim Organisations including the Students Islamic Organisation of India and the Muslim Youth League have sought action against the school authorities over what they called the denial of the rights of students to wear hijab on campus.

Though the student’s father’s complaint was submitted to the Education Minister, no action had been taken against the school authorities. Last month, Minister V. Sivankutty directed department Director K. Jeevan Babu to conduct an inquiry into the issue. There were no developments.

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