The authorities of a college in Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday denied reports that they had banned the burqa in their premises, The Indian Express reported on Friday. A controversy had erupted after reports that the college had banned women from wearing burqas.

The authorities of SRK College said they were merely following rules the college had made seven years ago.

“We have stopped the entry of all students who are not carrying identity cards with them and are not in the college uniform,” College Principal Prabhaskar Rai said. “There is no restriction of burqa inside the college. Girl students have been asked to wear only grey burqas as prescribed by the college authorities. The dress code of girl students is grey kurta and white pyjama.”

He said women students have been allowed to wear burqas of another colour. “They have been asked to remove their burqa if it is not grey in the changing room before entering classes,” Rai added. “Changing rooms are located next to their classrooms.”

College authorities claimed they enforced the dress code on campus after a clash broke out at the college on September 1. They suspect the involvement of outsiders in the clash.

A photograph on social media shows the principal carrying a baton near three women in black burqas, The Indian Express reported. However, Rai said: “The photograph has nothing to do with the dress code restriction. There are many monkeys on the campus and we carry the baton in case any monkey attacks us.”

Rai also denied that the police had been called to enforce the dress code on campus. His claim was corroborated by Firozabad Superintendent of Police Sachindra Patel. “Police have nothing to do with the implementation of dress code in the college,” Patel said. However, he added that the police had visited the college on September 1 following a clash between two boys over a trivial matter.

Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.