The Karnataka government on Monday decided to reopen pre-university and degree colleges across the state, which had been closed due to hijab, from February 16. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, which was attended by the Minister of Interior. Araga Jnanendra, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education BC Nagesh, Minister of Higher Education CN Ashwath Narayan and senior government officials.
“During the meeting, the current situation in the state was analyzed. It has been decided to reopen PU and Degree colleges from Wednesday,” Nagesh said. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, he said the colleges would reopen based on the Karnataka High Court’s interim order. “Wherever (in colleges) there are uniform related rules, they must be strictly followed. In the absence of a uniform, the dress code will be decided. We will strictly follow the High Court order,” he added.
As protests for and against hijab escalated in different parts of Karnataka and turned violent in some places, the government had declared a public holiday for all high schools and colleges in the state for three days, starting from February 9. , and it was later extended to February 16. However, the Karnataka High Court, in its Interim Order pending consideration of all hijab line related petitions, had last week requested the state government to reopen educational institutions and barred all students to wear shawls, scarves, hijabs and any religious flag in the classroom.
Following the court order, the government had decided to resume classes for high school students up to class 10 from February 14, and for pre-university and university colleges thereafter, and consequently high schools across the country. State reopened today. Expressing his confidence that there will be no untoward incidents when colleges reopen, Home Minister Jnanendra said the police are with the educational institutions and ensure that there are no there is no disturbance of the peace. Police officials are gathering information on how the dispute escalated and an investigation is underway in this regard.