UP college denies burqa ban, says only grey burqas are allowed

The college authorities said that they decided to implement the dress code order after a clash broke out on the campus between two groups in the first week of September. (Representational image)

After a controversy erupted that a government-aided college in Firozabad has barred girl students from entering the campus wearing burqas, the college authorities on Thursday said that there is no restriction on students attending classes wearing hijab or burqa or veil provided that they are in prescribed colour.

SRK College authorities claimed that it was not a new order and they were only strictly implementing the seven-year-old dress code.

We have stopped the entry of all students who are not carrying identity cards with them and are not in the college uniform. There is no restriction of burqa inside the college. Girl students have been asked to wear only grey burqas as prescribed by the college authorities. The dress code of girls students is grey kurta and white pyjama, said Prabhaskar Rai, principal of SRK College.

We have also provided the facility to the girl students who want to wear burqa of another colour. They have been asked to remove their burqa if it is not grey in the changing room before entering classes. Changing rooms are located next to their classrooms, added the principal.

The college authorities said that they had decided to implement its old dress code order after a clash broke out on the campus between two groups in the first week of September. College authorities suspect the involvement of outsiders in the clash.

The institute is one of the leading colleges of Firozabad and around 100 years old. Around 2,000 students are enrolled in the college and among them, around 20 per cent belong to the Muslim community.

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When asked about a photograph doing the rounds on social media in which he is seen holding a baton near three girl students in a black burqa, the principal said, The photograph has nothing to do with the dress code restriction. There are many monkeys on the campus and we carry the baton in case any monkey attacks us.

Moreover, there is no restriction on the principal carrying a baton of 2.5 feet on the campus. Baton is not a weapon, he added.

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He also denied having taken the help of police to ensure implementation of dress code and denied the charge that the baton was used to threaten students or beat them up.

Firozabad Superintendent of Police, Sachindra Patel, also denied any police help to the college in enforcing the dress code. However, he said that police force had recently gone to campus after two boys fought over a trivial issue . Police have nothing to do with the implementation of dress code in the college, said Patel.

District Magistrate Chandra Vijay Singh, however, could not be contacted for a comment.