Karnataka hijab case petitioner’s brother attacked, their restaurant vandalised

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In a series of tweets, student petitioner Hazra Shifa demanded that a case be filed against the attackers.

One of the petitioners in the hijab case in the Karnataka High Court, Hazra Shifa, has alleged that miscreants belonging to the Sangh Parivar on Monday night, February 21, attacked her brother and damaged the restaurant owned by her father in Udupi. In a series of tweets, she demanded that a case be filed against the attackers. “My brother was brutally attacked by a mob. Just because I continue to stand for My #Hijab which is MY RIGHT. Our property was ruined as well. Why?? Can’t I demand my right? Who will be their next victim? I demand action to be taken against the Sangh Parivar goons (sic),” she tweeted. Shifa says her 20-year-old brother, Saif, has been admitted to Hitech Hospital in Udupi.

Masood Manna, who is with the Campus Front of India (CFI) and is known to Shifa, claimed in a tweet that a mob of 150 people attacked Saif. “He was a victim as his sister @hazra_shifa is still fighting for her rights, her #Hijab. Not only students but families’ lives are at stake as well. Stringent action must be taken! (sic),” Manna tweeted. Speaking to TNM, Masood said that several people surrounded the hotel at around closing time and spoke to Saif. After a brief confrontation, they attacked Saif and broke the glasses of the restaurant’s windows, he alleged. The extent of Saif’s injuries is still unclear. A complaint has already been filed with the Malpe police station and further investigation is underway. 

The window panes which were allegedly broken in the attack

The full bench of the Karnataka High Court comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice JM Khazi and Justice Krishna S Dixit is hearing the case where Muslim girls and women are demanding that they be allowed to wear hijab inside classrooms. The bench is also examining whether the hijab is a fundamental right and an essential religious practice in Islam.

On Monday, February 21, the Karnataka government reiterated its stand that wearing the hijab is not an essential religious practice in Islam. Karnataka Advocate General (AG) Prabhuling Navadgi told the full bench of the High Court that the petitioners have not given any material to show that it is an essential practice.

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