The Karnataka ruling BJP government has said that the re-exams for the students, who protested against the Hijab ban, will not be held as it would set a bad precedent. Several students had missed their board exams while protesting against the Hijab ban.
Karnataka Education Minister BC Nagesh has said that the pre-university students who missed their Class 12 exams while protesting against the Hijab ban will not be allowed for a re-exam. He ruled out the option of giving the students a second chance to appear for the Class 12 examinations. He said that the exams are competitive in nature and there cannot be humanitarian consideration for absentees.
Speaking to the media, Nagesh said, "There cannot be a new precedent, from the time the board exams are being held, there is no such system to hold re-exam for absentees." He added that the students who had missed the exams can opt for supplementary examinations and reiterated that the government cannot make an exception for the students who remained absent from the exams as they were protesting against the hijab ban.
According to reports, several Muslim girls at a college in Udupi had boycotted classes and skipped practical exams after they were denied permission to wear hijab inside the college premises. On March 15, the Karnataka High Court has rejected a slew of petitions filed by the students against the hijab ban and said that wearing hijab is not an essential religious practice in Islam and the students cannot object if the government mandates a dress code or uniform in schools and colleges.
However, the students had decided to challenge the order in the Supreme Court. The students in the Udupi district have said that they will not attend the classes without wearing the hijab. It has been reported that they were absent when the preparatory exams of the second pre-university classes were going on. The college president Raghupathy Bhat, who is also the BJP MLA of Udupi, has requested the students to attend the classes without the hijab. However, the girls have rejected the offer.
The students had argued that the hijab is as important as education and said that they would not return to colleges until they get permission to wear the hijab. On the other hand, Minister Nagesh highlighted that the High Court order banning the hijab has come before the exams. He said, "Whatever the court has said, we will adibe by it. Being absent from exams will only be the prime factor and not the reason, whether it may be because of hijab row or ill-health or inability to attend or for not having studied. In the final exam, absent means absent. Repeat exams cannot be held."