Can’t force students to wear hijab, or ban wearing of sacred thread: Madhya Pradesh HC

The Madhya Pradesh high court on Wednesday granted bail to the administrators of a private school who were booked for allegedly forcing girl students to wear headscarves.

Madhya Pradesh high court says students of other religion shall not be forced to wear headscarves (hijabs) anywhere in the school premises.

A first information report (FIR) was registered on May 31 against 11 members of the Ganga Jamuna Higher Secondary School in Damoh under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Juvenile Justice Act.

The controversy erupted after the school administration put up a poster on the premises of students who topped in classes 10 and 12 state board exams. In the poster, all female students were seen wearing headscarves, though five of them were not Muslim. A complaint in this regard was filed later by the students’ parents.

A single judge bench of justice Dinesh Kumar Paliwal released committee members Asfa Sheikh, Anas Athar and Rustom Ali on a personal bond of ₹50,000.

“Applicants shall not repeat commission of offence in which they are being released on bail. They shall not prevent students from wearing the essentials of their own religion as such wearing a sacred thread (kalawa) and putting tilak on the forehead. They shall not compel the students of other religion to read/study any material or language which has not been prescribed or approved by the Madhya Pradesh Education Board.” said the order, which HT has seen.

“Girl students of other religion i.e. Hindu and Jain etc. shall not be compelled to wear head scarf (Hijab) anywhere in the school premises or in the class rooms. It is directed that they shall also abide by all the conditions enumerated,” the order added.

After the controversy erupted, some of the students alleged that the teachers used to “force” them to “learn the Quran and reciting it on Friday was compulsory”.

Source : Hindustan Times

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