Srinagar: Students stage protest after being denied entry to school wearing 'abaya'
Several female students of Vishwa Bharti Higher Secondary School staged a protest against its administration in Srinagar on Thursday, alleging that they were denied entry to the institute for wearing abaya.
A loose-fitting, full-length robe, abaya is worn by Muslim women. “We are told that we should go to a Madarsa if we want to wear an abaya. We were not allowed inside the school,” said one of the protesting students. The students alleged the school administration told them they were “ruining the atmosphere of the school” by wearing abaya.
School principal Memroz Shafi said the students have been told that they can wear abaya from home to school, but they should take it off inside the school premises. “We told them to wear a long white-coloured Hijab or a large dupatta as that is part of the school uniform. They come wearing colourful abayas, with different designs which is not part of the uniform,” he said. The principal said the students should follow a proper dress code in order to maintain decorum in the school.
National Conference (NC) chief spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq said it was unfortunate to witness such incidents in Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir. “Wearing a Hijab should be a personal choice, and there should be no interference in matters of religious attire. It is unfortunate to witness such incidents in a Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir,” Sadiq said in a tweet.
The NC chief spokesperson said the party opposes the school directive and urged the administration to take immediate corrective action. “We strongly oppose this and urge for immediate corrective action. This is the Vishwa Bharti Higher Secondary School Rainawari Srinagar. I request the @OfficeOfLGJandK, @SrinagarPolice and @AsadamAijaz (deputy commissioner Srinagar) to intervene promptly before the situation escalates,” he said.
(With agency inputs)