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India: Burqa 'ban' rocks Hyderabad college
HYDERABAD, India, (Times of India): Trouble erupted in Muslim dominated Mehdipatnam after burqa-clad young girl students held a massive agitation outside Vani College (Junior and Degree) on Friday morning after the college principal, Y Annapurna, allegedly asked students not to wear burqa to class and shut the college gates on them.
The agitation soon degenerated into a stone pelting session with male students fron neigbouring colleges and parents of the girls joining in. The situation came under control only after the police - called in by the college management - resorted to a lathi charge.
The agitation came a day after a dharna by the students on Thursday protesting against what was termed by them as “the failure of the college management to react to the abduction of a girl student” from the institution earlier this week. The college management had looked the other way as they perceived that the girl had eloped with her boyfriend. In the event, the girl had returned by evening.
On Friday morning, the students charged that the principal had been berating them for wearing burqa for over a week saying that it did not comply with the uniform (salwar kameez) worn by other students. But the immediate trigger for the Friday trouble was the refusal of the principal to allow entry to late coming students, which soon degenerated into an argument about burqa, the month of Ramzaan and other matters like ‘promiscuity’ of girls.
“About 300 local youth joined the protesting girls and when police asked them to leave the place, some of them pelted stones at the police and college building,’’ deputy commissioner of police C Ravi Varma said. Eye witnesses said that male students of Gowtham Junior and Narayana Junior College who have their friends studying in Vani College joined in and started the bedlam.
“We were asked why are you wearing burqa when you are not particular about keeping our modesty. These comments are too much to bear,” a student from the college claimed. “The principal’s attitude irked us and hence we decided to take help from our parents,” a student of the college, Nadima Rahman told TOI.
The principal, Annapurna, however, told TOI, that she did not make any objectionable comment against the burqa. “The students were coming late for class and I had scolded them. They objected to this and staged a protest,” she said. The students, however, said that they were getting delayed because of the ongoing month of Ramzan and they had to offer Namaz before coming to college. They said, the college should not object to religious practices. “The college authorities blame us saying that we are spending more time in the mosque than with our books. This is objectionable,” a student said.
Analysts were amazed at the turn of events because the college has predominantly Muslims students. “I could understand such things happening in hardcore Hindu colleges and only with a few Muslim students. But not here,” said Salim Khan, a local resident. But an analyst - a Muslim—who does not want to be named said that “girls are girls, Hindu or Muslim. Their aspirations will be the same. Young girls will want to mingle with young boys, whether they wear burqa or not. Obviously, the principal is unable to appreciate this. She wants to say why are you friends with boys when you wear a burqa? This is the genesis of the trouble,” he added.
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Our Lord! grant us good in this world
and good in the hereafter,and save us from the chastisement of the fire