Student police cadets wearing hijab will affect secularism: Kerala govt

Representational Image
Representational Image

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government has dismissed a plea by a Muslim girl student seeking permission to wear hijab (headscarf) and full sleeve dress in the Student Police Cadet project as per her religious obligation, saying such a waiver in the state police's programme will significantly affect secularism in the state.

The Student Police Cadet (SPC) Project is a school-based youth development initiative that trains high school students to evolve as future leaders of a democratic society by inculcating within them respect for the law, discipline, civic sense, empathy for vulnerable sections of society and resistance to social evils.

In its order, the State Home Department said the government, after careful examination of her representation "is fully satisfied that the demand of the complainant is not considerable."

"Also, if such a waiver is considered in the Student Police Cadet project, similar demands will be made on other similar forces, which will significantly affect the secularism of the state. Therefore, it is not appropriate to give any indication such that the religious symbols are highlighted in the uniform under the Student Police Cadet project", it said.

The girl filed the petition with the state government after the Kerala High Court rejected her plea seeking to be attired in full-sleeves and headscarf (hijab) for Student Police uniform.

The Court, however, had directed that she was free to submit a representation before the government narrating her grievance raised in the writ petition.

She submitted the representation before the state government in compliance with the judgment of the high court.

The student had moved the court after the faculty of the Student Police Cadets informed her that wearing headscarf and full sleeve dress according to Islamic beliefs would not be allowed.

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