New Delhi: The Karnataka wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party shared on Twitter the personal details of the students who filed petitions against the ban on hijab in schools and colleges in the state.
BJP was ostensibly attempting to highlight that the girls were minors – a fact which in turn brought the party further under fire.
The English tweet, which was an attempt to slam the Congress party, read:
“Five of the students involved in #HijabRow are minors. Don’t CONgress leaders Sonia, Rahul & Priyanka have any guilt for using minor girls to stay relevant in politics? How low will they stoop to win elections? Is this what “Ladki hoo lad sakti hoon” means, @priyankagandhi?”
With it was a screenshot carrying details of the petitioner students, including their names, addresses and the names of their parents.
The party also tweeted in Kannada. At present, in the place of both tweets, is the message: “This Tweet is no longer available because it violated the Twitter Rules. Learn more.”
The English tweet remained up for much longer than the Kannada one, reported The News Minute.
It also reported that Karnataka BJP president Nalinkumar Kateel also shared the same tweet. Kateel’s account also shows the same message of the tweet not being available because of rule violation.
There was immediate outrage in the aftermath of the tweets. Among those who sought to highlight it was Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, who called it ‘a criminal act’ to share the names and addresses of minors.
— Priyanka Chaturvedi🇮🇳 (@priyankac19) February 15, 2022
The petitioners have filed pleas in the Karnataka high court and the Supreme Court against Karnataka pre-university government colleges’ decisions to bar them from entering classrooms in the hijab.
Muslim students’ protests against this decision sparked off counter-agitations among rightwing Hindu groups in Karnataka, leading to the closure of all educational institutions for three days and higher educational institutions for more.
While the petitions are being heard in the high court, it has issued an interim order directing students to not insist on wearing religious clothing in educational institutions. This, in turn, has led to members of staff, teachers and school students being asked to take off their coverings outside school gates.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has refused to list the petition urgently, instead asking it to be heard in the high court.
In the latest hearing, petitioners told the Karnataka high court that wearing the headscarf is an innocent practice of faith and not a mere display of religious jingoism, with the lawyer for the petitioners comparing it with Hindu students who wear a rudraksha or vermillion.
Featured image: Muslim women in hijab participate in a candle light march during a protest rally over the ‘hijab’ ban in Karnataka, in Kolkata, February 11, 2022. Photo: PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra
This article was first published on The Wire.