Udupi: A peace meeting was held at Udupi on Tuesday by district deputy commissioner M Kurma Rao to seek the support of students and the public to ensure smooth conduct of classes in the junior and degree colleges, set to reopen on Wednesday.
The pre-university and degree colleges will resume classes from Wednesday after a week-long holiday declared by the state government in the wake of troubles in campuses due to the hijab-saffron shawl controversy.
Leaders of political parties, student organizations, religious leaders, and other prominent persons attended the meeting. The DC appealed to all sections of society to abide by the High Court’s interim order not to wear any religious attire to educational institutions until the final judgment on the issue is pronounced. Leaders of all the organizations who attended the meeting agreed to maintain law and order.
Rao said prompt action will be taken if any attempt is made to disturb peace in the colleges in the district. Udupi district superintendent of police N Vishnuvardhan said an additional police force has been deployed to maintain law and order in the district. A total of 700 police personnel will be on duty, including those from the state reserve police, he said.
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The district administration has clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC within a 200-meter radius of all colleges and polytechnics in the district from 6 AM on February 16 to 6 PM on February 23 as a precautionary measure to prevent any untoward incident.
On January 1, six girl students of a college in Udupi attended a press conference held by Campus Front of India (CFI) in the coastal town protesting against the college authorities denying them entry into the classroom wearing Hijab.
This was four days after they requested the principal permission to wear Hijabs in classes which were not allowed. Till then, students used to wear Hijab to the campus and entered the classroom after removing the scarves, the college principal Rudre Gowda had said.
”The institution did not have any rule on Hijab-wearing as such and no one used to wear it to the classroom in the last 35 years. The students who came with the demand had the backing of outside forces,” Gowda had said.