Student in Burqa offers namaz in classroom, Dr Harisingh Gour University in Madhya Pradesh orders probe

Activists of Hindu Jagran Manch submitted a written complaint to the university along with video evidence. The university promised action after thorough investigation.

A video of a student in burqa offering namaz inside a classroom in Dr. Harisingh Gour University in Madhya Pradesh went viral on social media platforms on Friday (March 25).

Taking congisance of the matter, the university administration on Saturday (March 26) formed a committee to look into the matter.

The incident has been reported weeks after some Muslim students in Karnataka suddenly started demanding in February that they be allowed in classrooms in burqa.

When the school administration denied the permission, they filed a petition in the Karnataka High Court. Ruling that hijab is not mandatory in Islam, the three-judge bench of the Karnataka High Court upheld the ban on burqa in classrooms.

Objecting to the namaz inside the classroom, Sagar District President of the Hindu Jagran Manch Umesh Saraf said, “Such religious activities should not be allowed in educational institutions. She was coming in Hijab for a long time but was spotted offering namaz inside a classroom on Friday afternoon. This is objectionable as educational institutions are places meant for (members of) every religion.”

Taking cognisance of the Hindu Jagran Manch’s complaint, the university formed a five-member committee to probe the matter. “A five-member committee has been constituted to look into this matter. The committee will submit a report within three days and further action will be taken based on its report,” PTI quoted HGU Registrar Santosh Sahgaura.

University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Neelima Gupta said that all such religious rituals should be performed either at home or at religious premises. “We’ve notified a committee to probe the matter and have told students that the religious activities should be carried out at home or religious places so that the atmosphere of study in the university could be maintained,” Prof. Gupta said.

The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) Sagar city president Kapil Swami said that performing religious rituals inside classrooms should not be allowed. He further said that if the university does not initiate action, the VHP will launch an agitation.

The Karnataka hijab row petition is now pending in the Supreme Court. When the petitioner’s lawyer demanded an urgent hearing of the case, the Supreme Court said it was not required.

The three-judge bench of the Karnataka High Court in its order had said, “We are of the considered opinion that wearing of the hijab by Muslim women does not make up an essential religious practice in Islamic faith…At the most, the practice of wearing this apparel may have something to do with culture but certainly not with religion.”

Islamists had issued death threats to the judges of the Karnataka High Court who had dismissed the hijab petitions. The Karnataka police had arrested multiple office bearers of the Tamil Nadu Towheed Jamaat (TNTJ) in the death threat case.

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