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Student drags her college to court for not allowing to wear hijab

Mumbai: A student of Sai Homeopathic Medical College (SHMC) in Bhiwandi moved the Bombay High Court against her college. She was reportedly not allowed to wear a hijab (headscarf). She was barred from sitting for examinations on the ground of having low attendance.

The girl, a resident of Bandra in Mumbai and student of homoeopathy has moved court on Monday seeking permission to appear for the first-year examinations of Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS) course at Sai Homeopathic Medical College (SHMC) in Bhiwandi beginning June 1.

She claimed that she cleared her Common Entrance Test and secured admission in SHMC on December 14, 2016. While the session started on December 27, 2016, she started attending college from the next day.

In the petition, she stated that she was shocked to see that all Muslim girls were forced to remove their hijab. She alleged that the Muslim girls were threatened to either stop wearing hijab or attend classes. She told that several girls either took off their hijab or left the college, but she refused to do so.

The girl further said that she and her parents told the college authorities that it was not possible for her to stop wearing hijab since it is a religious practice for that they approached several college authorities to resolve the issue. On January 11, 2017, they wrote to the Union Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH).

On January 20, 2017, the ministry allegedly wrote to the college stating that it “cannot compel a student to not wear hijab, since it is disrespect to social justice,” while directing it to immediately resolve the issue.

However, according to the petitioner, she was asked to leave college. Her father also requested Medical Education and Drugs Department (MEDD) and also to the State Human Rights Commission to intervene.

Finally, she approached the HC, on March 12, this year. SHMC lawyer, however, claimed that the college was not opposed to the petitioner wearing hijab. “The college had allowed her to wear hijab but she was insisting on wearing a full burqa. If she wore a burqa, it would have been difficult for her to wear an apron, which is required in some of the classes.”

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