Udupi : Protests over classroom hijab ban grows in India : A ban on Islamic headscarves at schools has prompted an outcry among Muslims in southern India, with large crowds to the streets on Monday to protest against the restrictions.

The stand-off in Karnataka state had galvanised fears among the minority community about what they say is increasing persecution under the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Students at a government run high school were told not to wear hijabs last month, an edict that soon spread to at least two other educational institutions in the state.

''It's discriminatory in nature and also it's against the rights that are provided under the constitution of India,'' Sumayya Roushan, president of the Girls Islamic Organization Karnataka, said at at a Monday press conference.

Roushan said the ban violated ''a personal choice that the students are entitled to, which doesn't ....... harm any other person''.

Social media footage showed hundreds of people gathered on roads and waving Indian flags in at least two towns in Karnataka, the latest in several days of demonstrations held to condemn the bans.

One of the schools has since partially yielded, allowing its female Muslim students to attend class with a hijab but instructing them to sit in separate classrooms., according to local media.

The other schools that had implemented a hijab ban declared a holiday and were closed last Monday. [AFP]


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