Hijab row: K'taka govt issues series of directives to districts, as schools to reopen on Feb 14

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai today held a meeting of Ministers with Deputy Commissioners (DCs), Superintendent of Police (SPs), Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPIs) and CEOs of Zilla Panchayats of all districts, via video conferencing, to review the ground situation.
Hijab row: K'taka govt issues series of directives to districts, as schools to reopen on Feb 14
High schools across the state up to class 10, reopening on February 14

Chennai

With high schools across the state up to class 10, reopening on February 14, the Karnataka government on Friday issued a series of directions to district administrations, aimed at maintaining peace and that the High Court order is not violated.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai today held a meeting of Ministers with Deputy Commissioners (DCs), Superintendent of Police (SPs), Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPIs) and CEOs of Zilla Panchayats of all districts, via video conferencing, to review the ground situation.
''From Monday high school classes up to class 10 will resume across the state, directions have been issued to see to it that no untoward incident takes place. In sensitive areas, DCs and SPs have to visit campuses and instruct the authorities and teaching staff there to see to it that no untoward incidents take place,'' Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, he said, DCs, SPs and DDPIs have been asked to keep constant contact with principals, teachers, management of educational institutions and parents.
''Action should be taken against the guilty, peace meetings should be held and the High Court order should be followed literally. Authorities should not budge to any pressure and even small incidents should be considered seriously,'' he added.
The government on Thursday had decided to resume classes for high school students up to class 10 from February 14, and for Pre-University and degree colleges thereafter.
The High Court, in its interim order pending consideration of all petitions related to the Hijab row, on Thursday had requested the state government to reopen educational institutions and restrained all the students from wearing saffron shawls, scarves, Hijab and any religious flag within the classroom.
Stating that law and order should be maintained at all costs and measures should be taken to ensure that there is no incitement from outside, the Home Minister said officials have been directed to be on the field and monitor the situation in their designated areas.
All political leaders, religious leaders, heads of organisations should be taken into confidence and their cooperation should be sought, and if possible peace meetings should be held, he said, adding officials have also been asked to keep strict vigil so that rumours and inciting messages don't spread through social media.
''Everyone should abide by the High Court order and special attention has to be paid so that not even a single untoward incident takes place for any reason. A message has to be sent to society that anti-social elements have been identified and they are being watched,'' he added.
As protests for and against the hijab intensified in different parts of Karnataka and turned violent in some places, the government declared a holiday for all high schools and colleges in the state for three days, from Wednesday.
Jnanendra further said local administrations have been given the powers to act according to the situation and take immediate measures, instead of waiting for orders from the top.
Media is requested to showcase the facts, he said, ''there have been no untoward incidents yesterday and today, but still old incidents have been repeatedly shown. Also, the media is requested to highlight the current peaceful situation.''

Noting that it has been decided to reopen the PUC and degree colleges, depending on the situation, the Minister said, ''we will review on Monday and decide.'' Appealing to everyone to cooperate so that educational institutions resume while pointing out that students' academic life was earlier affected by the COVID pandemic, he said, ''still 20-25 per cent of the syllabus is pending...confidence should be built among students.'' 
Responding to a question, Jnanendra said, ''...we are aware that parents of some students are involved in the activities of certain religious organisations, their role if any behind the recent incidents are also being looked into.'' Asked about the Muslim girl from Mandya, who stood up to a large group of boys who shouted slogans at her when she entered her college with a hijab, being rewarded with cash and gifts, he said, ''...we are watching it.''

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