Did Karnataka’s Education Minister defend a mob that targeted a Muslim woman?

BC Nagesh claims saffron scarf-wearing mob of "students didn't want to gherao” the Muslim girl, says no student was around her when she shouted "Allah hu Akbar" 
BC Nagesh

Karnataka’s  Primary and Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh on Wednesday appeared to defend the mob of Hindutva goons who were caught on video heckiling a Muslim girl student, identified as Muskaan Khan. The burqa-wearing girl shouted back “Allah-hu-Akbar” as the crowd chanting “Jai Sri Ram” closed in on her and heckled her.

BC Nagesh had earlier said that the SDPI-backed CFI (Campus Front of India) was behind the hijab conflict. Now he claimed that the saffron scarf-wearing mob of “students didn’t want to gherao the girl who was outside the college. No student was around her when she shouted “Allah hu Akbar”. Was she provoked?” He further said that one “can’t encourage ‘Allah hu Akbar’ or ‘Jai Shri Ram’ on campus.” 

Muskaan Khan, a student of PES College of Arts, Science and Commerce in Mandya district had later told the media that she had been stopped at the college gate by the group of students and asked to enter without her burqa. “The group was doing the same to my other friends also. I questioned them why I should go back to my house and not enter the college premises. Some of them came close to my ears and shouted ‘Jai Sriram’. They followed me and shouted that I must take off the burka but I stood my ground,” she told the media.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Basavaraj S Bommai ordered all high schools and colleges to remain shut “to maintain peace and harmony” in the state for three days. BC Nagesh said since the court has not passed any order yet “uniform is compulsory for students to attend classes” adding that “Educational institutions are not the places where their dharma has to be followed.”



He had told the media earlier that an investigation was underway. “I have already spoken with the Home Minister. We have investigated and solved the problem. There will be an investigation to find who is behind it. The investigation is underway, not an order. Some people feel they need to be investigated when they are spreading across the state. After investigating the matter, everything will become clear. Who is behind this incident will be investigated. We will take action on that,” he said.



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