Protests erupted
in Karnataka’s Udupi town Tuesday over the controversy surrounding women wearing
the hijab in educational institutions. The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College turned
a political flashpoint as hundreds of students gathered, with one group saying
that it was their right to wear the hijab in college and another protesting the
wearing of hijab by wearing saffron scarves.

Police have
gathered in large numbers with the protests turning confrontational. Students
wearing saffron scarves are shouting “Jai Shree Ram” slogans while those
wearing the hijab expressed their anger at not being able to enter the college
because of their attire, according to an NDTV report.  

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Amid rising
tensions, the Karnataka High Court is scheduled to hear petitions filed by five
women from a government college on the hijab issue.

Basavaraj Bommai,
the Karnataka chief minister, said, “All concerned people should keep the peace
and let the children study,” adding that the high court is set to hear the
matter. “Let’s wait for it,” he told the media.

Also Read | What, where and why of Karnataka hijab row: All you need to know

Row over the
hijab, a headscarf typically worn by Muslim women, turned controversial in
Karnataka after a group of students at Government Girls PU College in Udupi
protested against women wearing the hijab to college. The protesting students
said they would wear saffron scarves if the hijab was allowed.

On Monday, several
colleges in Karnataka remained shut apprehending a communal conflagration. In one
college, students wearing the hijab were reportedly made to sit in separate

Congress, the
principal opposition party in the state, has alleged that right wing groups are
fomenting the trouble. Karnataka Congress MLA Kaneez Fatima said, “We’re ready
for a change in the colour of the hijab to match it with the uniform, but we
cannot stop wearing it. I wear the hijab to the Assembly as well, they can stop
me if they can,” reports Deccan Chronicle.

The Karnataka
education department issued an order on Saturday stating all schools under it
are required to follow the uniform stipulated by the state government. “Clothes
which disturb equality, integrity and public order will be banned,” the order