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The court will resume hearing a plea by 6 students who had first questioned the ban (File)Bengaluru: Karnataka schools (up to Class 10) re-opened today amid controversy over the state barring Muslim students from wearing a hijab during classes. Classes 11 and 12 are closed till Wednesday. Petitions against the ban are being heard by the High Court.Ahead of today’s classes, orders banning large gatherings were announced in districts that witnessed tense stand-offs between students protesting for the right to wear the hijab and those opposed, who included people from right-wing outfits brandishing saffron shawls and scarves.In Mangaluru, prohibitory orders under Section 144 are in place for 200 metres around all high schools in city limits. In Udupi district – where the protests first began – assemblies of five or more people near schools have been banned, as have gatherings like rallies or the shouting of slogans.On Sunday, police in Shivamogga took out a flag march and banned gatherings on or around high school premises. Last week a frenzied mob waving saffron scarves cheered and chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ as one individual climbed a pole in a local college to run up a saffron-coloured flag.At 2.30 pm the Karnataka High Court will resume hearing a plea by six students who, in December, had first questioned the ban. Last week, in a contentious interim order, the court ruled that schools and colleges could reopen but no religious clothing, including hijabs, would be allowed.Asking students and the public to “maintain peace”, the court had said: “Pending consideration of all petitions, we restrain all students, regardless of their religion or faith, from wearing saffron shawls, scarves, hijab, religious flags or the like, within the classroom, until further orders…”The order was challenged in the Supreme Court – on grounds it violated students’ constitutional rights – but Chief Justice NV Ramana only said: “We will interfere only at an appropriate time.” The Chief Justice was unmoved despite being told the case had “far-reaching implications”.Karnataka’s BJP government has been largely silent as it waits for a decision by the High Court, but the protests have triggered furious political debates (with communal overtones) in the country and been noticed worldwide, with Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai and French footballer Paul Pogba among those to speak out in support of the Muslim students.Here are the LIVE Updates on Hijab Row:Get NDTV UpdatesTurn on notifications to receive alerts as this story develops.Hijab Row: No Public Gatherings In Mangaluru As Karnataka Schools ReopenProhibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC has been clamped around 200-metre radius of all the high schools within the city police commissionerate limits from Monday till February 19.The move is part of a precautionary measure in view of the hijab controversy. The high schools are reopening on Monday after the holiday declared by the state government.



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