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Now, a Karnataka lecturer resigns after being asked to remove hijab by college

Lecturer calls it an 'assault on her self-respect', while college principal says she was asked to remove hijab following Karnataka HC's interim order.

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Bengaluru: In a first, a lecturer of a private college in Karnataka’s Tumakuru district has resigned after being asked to remove her hijab by the college management.

In a letter dated 16 February, Chandini Naz, an English lecturer at Jain PU College, said, “I am resigning from my position of English lecturer as you demanded me to remove my hijab which I have been wearing for three years in your college. The right to religion is a constitutional right that nobody can deny. Thank you. I condemn your undemocratic act (sic).”  A copy of the letter is with ThePrint.

K.T. Manjunath, principal, Jain PU College, told ThePrint, “She (Naz) is a part-time lecturer and used to come to class wearing the hijab. After the Karnataka High Court’s interim order, we asked her to remove the hijab in the staff room and go to class but she didn’t want to do that and hence resigned.”

The high court’s interim order, however, does not apply to teachers or students of colleges that don’t have a prescribed uniform.

“We are a private college. Whatever the management says, we have to follow. We were concerned that if a teacher is allowed to wear hijab and teach then Muslim students may follow suit,” Manjunath said, adding that as of now, no students in the college are allowed to wear hijabs.

‘Assault on self-respect’

In a video statement released a day after she resigned, Naz called the college management’s decision an “assault on her self-respect”.

While dozens of students across Karnataka are being denied entry into colleges and have been boycotting exams for refusing to remove hijabs, this is the first instance of a teacher resigning from her job over the row.

On Wednesday, scenes of Muslim girl students being asked to leave college premises by authorities and police officials for refusing to remove their hijabs were witnessed in several parts of Mandya, Hassan, Belagavi, and Ballari districts of the state.

(Edited by Nidhima Taneja)

Also read: Tension over hijab controversy remains but Karnataka colleges to reopen today after a week


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