Bengal hijab row: College says wearing headscarf allowed, teacher seeks time to respond

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Kolkata, Jun 11 (PTI) A private law college in Kolkata, where a teacher was "forced to resign" after she was allegedly not allowed to attend classes wearing a hijab, on Tuesday said she can cover her head with a scarf.

The teacher, Sanjida Qadar, however, said she has sought a week from the management of the college to decide whether to join duties again.

Qadar had resigned on June 5, alleging that the authorities of the LJD Law College in Pailan had instructed her not to wear a hijab at the workplace after issuing a dress code directive on May 31.

After the matter became public and sparked an uproar, the college authorities insisted on June 10 that it resulted from miscommunication and that she would be returning on June 11 after withdrawing her resignation.

"I received an email from the office on Monday informing me that I can cover my head with a head scarf or dupatta while taking classes. But I am not going to the college immediately. I have sought seven days to analyse and decide my future steps,” Qadar told PTI.

Confirming that the teacher sought time to convey her decision, the college governing body Chairman Gopal Das that they would wait for her final decision.

"If no positive response comes from the teacher after a week, the college may extend her leave period for a couple of more days, and then inform her that her resignation was accepted. For the sake of students, the uncertainty cannot continue,” he added.

He said, “We have said she can cover her head with a scarf or dupatta in classes and we fully respect her religious belief and sentiment.” Qadar had been wearing the headscarf at the workplace since the Ramzan month (in April) but the issue seemingly escalated over the past week.

Expressing solidarity with the teacher, West Bengal minister and Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind president Siddiqullah Chowdhury said the college governing body president should apologise to her. PTI SUS RBT