Bangalore: A new controversy has erupted in Karnataka amid ongoing debate over the ban on hijab in colleges. A 17-year-old baptized Sikh girl was asked to take off her turban at a college in Bangalore. The college said it would have to comply with a February 10 High Court order stating a uniform dress code. The Karnataka High Court has ordered students not to wear orange shawls, hijabs and religious flags or any such religious attire in college classrooms.

The girl’s family said the college never discriminated against her. Being always thoughtful and polite, the Karnataka Government and the High Court will have to give clear directions in this regard.

A controversy erupted in the college on 16 February
The president of the student union of Mount Carmel PU College, Bengaluru was asked to take off her turban politely for the first time on February 16. He denied it. When his father spoke to the college administration, he said he understood the importance of turban for Sikhs but was bound by the High Court order.

‘Muslim girls protesting Sikh turban’
A spokesman for Mount Carmel PU College said: “We had no problem wearing the girl’s turban. When the college reopened on February 16, we informed all the students about the High Court order. On Tuesday, when he visited DDPU (North) College, he found a group of girls wearing hijab. He was called to the office and informed about the order of the High Court. The girls are now demanding that no girl be allowed to wear their religious symbols. He objected to the Sikh girl wearing a turban. We talked to the girl’s father and mailed him later. We informed them of the order and asked them to comply. The father replied that it (turban) is an integral part of his life. We didn’t want to interfere but the other girls were uniting and protesting so we had to send mail.

Family living in Bangalore for 17 years
The girl’s father Gurcharan Singh is in a senior position in a big IT company. He has been living in Karnataka for the last 17 years. He said he has never faced any problem in college till date. Now the situation is dire with the order of the High Court. He said his daughter would not take off her turban.

Guru Singh Sabha was informed
The girl’s father said the High Court order did not say anything about the Sikh turban, it was being misunderstood. However, he is now in touch with his community lawyers and various organizations. Gurcharan Singh has informed Jitendra Singh, Administrator, Shri Guru Singh Sabha, Ulsur, Bengaluru about this issue.

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