Terming the ongoing hijab controversy "hijab jihad", Bajrang Dal Karnataka convener Sunil KR on Wednesday said that there is a conspiracy being set up behind the ongoing row. Speaking with India Today TV, the Bajrang Dal leader said, "There is a conspiracy behind the hijab controversy, hence we are calling it hijab jihad."
"We are speaking on this issue because anti-national forces like Popular Front of India (PFI) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) are active on this issue," said Sunil KR.
Meanwhile, taking a dig at the Muslim students who stood up for their rights, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) member Poornima Suresh said, "These girls are trying to send a message by wearing hijab that we are different. They are creating a divide, hence it's jihad."
"Those Hindu and Muslim girls, who used to eat together, are now looking at each other as [if they are] different -- this is the problem," India Today quoted saying Poornima Suresh.
"At some places, hijab was allowed, but these girls started a fire which engulfed the entire state. They have also asked for a probe by the NIA [National Investigation Agency]," she said.
Karnataka High Court on Wednesday began hearing petitions challenging the ban on hijab in educational institutions in the state for the fourth day.
Meanwhile, Section 144 has been imposed on eight other districts in the region including Bagalkot, Bengaluru, Chikkaballapura, Gadag, Shimoga, Mysuru and Dakshina Kannada. All gatherings including protests and rallies are banned in the 9 districts until February 19.
Earlier, the Udupi district administration imposed section 144 of CrPC in areas around all high schools in the district from February 14 till February 19.
Police personnel have been posted in several towns and also near schools to maintain law and order and to avoid any untoward incidents.
On Monday, the Karnataka government directed all pre-university and degree colleges to resume offline classes from Wednesday, February 16.
The Karnataka High Court in its interim order relating to the Hijab issue had restrained students from attending classes wearing headscarves or saffron scarves.
(with India Today inputs)