Guwahati: Triggering fresh controversy over ‘hijab’, a four-year-old nursery girl in Assam was asked to stop wearing traditional Islamic headscarf or face expulsion.

According to reports, the incident took place at a Catholic Mission-run Kristo Jyoti School, near Bokakhat in Assam’s Golaghat district, where the authorities refused to allow Muslim girl Fathima Bibi to wear ‘hijab’ along with school uniform.

Following the school’s action, the parents of the four-year-old girl have moved Gauhati High Court to allow their child to follow the tradition.

Fatima’s parents were served a 15-day notice from school authority asking them to remove the hijab or stop sending her to school.

The problem started more than a month back when on March 21 Fatima’s class teacher objected to her wearing the headscarf. The teacher also wrote a remark asking the parents to abide by the rules of school.

On March 25, girl’s parents wrote to school Principal Father Jose Varghese requesting him to relax the uniform rules for her. The Principal on March 28 served a notice to them to remove the hijab within 15 days of time or not to send their child to school.

On April 8, Fatima’s mother filed a writ petition in the High Court to set aside the school’s decision.

Alee Ahmed, mother of the girl said that she had no other option but to seek justice in the court. “Hijab is a part of the tradition. So she wears the scarf on head along with the complete uniform. I hope justice will be done to my daughter,” mother said.

Notably, the father of the girl hails from Kerala and is posted in Manipur while the mother is a local resident of Bokakhat.

However, the school authorities are adamant on their stand of expelling Fatima if she continues to wear the scarf. The school Principal said that he has nothing against the girl but her dress code violates the norms of school.

“Apart from Fatima, there are several Muslim girls as student. If we make any relaxation for her then we may have to allow other girls to wear the scarf,” said Father Jose Varghese.


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