A few hijab-wearing students on Thursday, March 3, were not allowed to sit for a Staff Selection Commission (SSC) exam at a Byculla school in Maharashtra despite knowing that the Maharashtra board allows students to wear the veil in the examination hall. The incident disappointed the family members of those girl students.
"Taking off the hijab meant my sister had to write an exam in a night wear," said the brother of one of the students. The girls were refused to step inside the examination hall by a woman invigilator, as mentioned in a newspaper report.
In the wake of this humiliation, the students' families contacted the board helpline number, where they got a confirmation that "students can take the exam wearing the hijab." Following this, Siddheshwar Chandekar, secretary of the board's Mumbai division, said, "There is no rule in the state board that disallows students from wearing hijabs or burkhas."
Moreover, the families went to the National Students Union of India (NSUI) whose representative immediately contacted the principal of the school post examination.
"The principal apologised for her mistake and she said that had been appointed to the post recently and hence was unaware of the rules," said Heena Kanojia, national co-ordinator, NSUI, according to an HT report.
According to media reports, this is not the first time that the students of the school have faced this trouble. In 2014, a similar incident took place, when around 40 girls were punished for taking a leave at Lailat al-Qadr, an occasion when Muslim devotees pray whole night.