Groups of protesters threw stones at each other as students at a college put up a saffron flag today in the escalating hijab versus saffron scarves protests at Karnataka colleges in India.
The protests reached more towns including Shivamogga, where a group of boys wearing saffron scarves cheered, chanted “Jai Shri Ram” and danced as one of them climbed a flag staff and put up a saffron flag.
In two towns, Harihara and Davengere, large gatherings were banned after hijab-wearing protesters and those wearing saffron shawls threw stones at each other. The police used teargas and batons to break them up.
At a college in Mandya, a Muslim girl stood her ground as a large number of saffron scarf wearing boys heckled her and shouted slogans of “Jai Shri Ram”. She shouted back at them: “Allah hu Akbar!”
Karnataka’s BJP government has been largely silent as it waits for a decision by the Karnataka High Court on a petition by five women from a government college in Udupi questioning hijab restrictions in college.
The High Court did not announce any order today but said: “Pending further hearing of the matter, this Court requests the student community and the public at large to maintain peace and tranquillity. This court has full faith in the wisdom and virtue of public at large and it hopes that the same would be put to practice.”