An English lecturer at a private college in Karnataka’s Tumakuru district resigned after she was allegedly asked to remove her hijab by the institute’s administration, NDTV reported on Friday.
In her resignation letter dated February 16, lecturer Chandini Naz alleged that the administration of the Jain PU College had asked her to remove her hijab, which she said she had been wearing for the past three years.
“The principal told me that I can’t wear hijab or any religious symbol while teaching,” Naz said. “But I have taught for the last three years wearing hijab. This new decision is a hit to my self-respect. That’s why I have decided to resign.”
Many Muslim students in Karnataka have been agitating through the past month after they were not allowed to attend classes wearing hijabs. On February 5, the Karnataka government had passed an order banning clothes that “disturb equality, integrity and public order”.
On February 10, a three-judge bench of the High Court barred the students in Karnataka from wearing “religious clothes” in schools and colleges until further orders.
However, the court’s interim order did not apply to the teachers or students of colleges that do not have a prescribed uniform, according to ThePrint.
Naz on Wednesday said that the right to religion is a constitutional right that nobody can deny. “I condemn your [administration’s] undemocratic act,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, contradictory reports of college Principal KT Manjunath’s response to Naz’s allegations have emerged.
While Manjunath told ThePrint that Naz was asked to remove her hijab, he, however, declined the same to NDTV.
Manjunath told ThePrint that Naz was a part-time lecturer and confirmed that she used to visit the college wearing 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,” Manjunath said.
He further said that the administration was concerned that if Naaz was allowed to teach wearing hijab then “Muslim students may follow suit”.
Manjunath added: “We are a private college. Whatever the management says, we have to follow.”