Hijab is not a necessary religious practice, the Karnataka Supreme Court said today in great frustration with students objecting to the ban on wearing the hijab in the classroom. Five petitions challenge the court ban.

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Prior to the order, the state government banned several rallies in the state capital, Bengaluru, for a week "to maintain public peace and order". Mangalore also banned large gatherings from March 15 to 19. Udupi schools and colleges are now closed.

Also Read: Karnataka Hijab Controversy

Last month, the Karnataka Supreme Court temporarily banned religious clothing, including the hijab and saffron headscarves, as controversy escalated into protests and fights between various groups of students.

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The petitioners, including a dozen Muslim students, told the court that wearing the hijab is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Indian constitution and a basic Islamic ethic. After eleven days of deliberations, the Supreme Court reserved its decision on 25 February.

Teachers and students have since been banned from school and college in many parts of the state for wearing the hijab.

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The videos of students and teachers who publicly remove the hijab to enable it in educational institutions have provoked great outrage. The Supreme Court immediately stated that the temporary ban would only apply to students, not teachers.

The hijab dispute broke out in Karnataka late last year when students at a school in Udupi were told they were prevented from entering a class with headscarves.

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On February 5, Karnataka banned "clothing against law and order," and on February 10, the Supreme Court temporarily banned all religious clothing because it heard petitions questioning the bans.