tirsdag 8. februar 2022

Schools shut in Indian state as protests grow over headscarf ban

Authorities in southern India have ordered schools to shut as protests intensified over a ban on Islamic headscarves that has outraged Muslim students. The standoff in Karnataka state has galvanised fears among the minority community about what they say is increasing persecution under the Hindu nationalist government of the prime minister, Narendra Modi.

In fresh demonstrations on Tuesday, officers fired teargas to disperse a crowd at one government-run campus, while a heavy police presence was seen at schools in nearby towns. The chief minister, Basavaraj Bommai, appealed for calm after announcing that all high schools in the state would be closed for three days. “I appeal to all the students, teachers and management of schools and colleges … to maintain peace and harmony,” he said.

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