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Not in favour of imposing dress codes: BJP

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Abaya ban attack on religious freedom guaranteed by constitution: PDP 

Srinagar: A local school denying entry to girls wearing abayas evoked sharp reactions from all quarters in Kashmir. 

While PDP president Mehbooba Mufti termed it an attack on religious freedom guaranteed by the constitution, BJP said it was not in favour of imposing dress codes.

“Jammu and Kashmir has become a laboratory for BJP’s plans of changing Gandhi’s India into Godse’s India. All experiments begin from here. It started off in Karnataka and has reached Kashmir. This is not acceptable to us. There will be a serious reaction to it because wearing clothes is a personal choice. There should be no compulsion,” Mufti said.

She said the ban order was an attack on religious freedom which will “not be tolerated.”

“They are harassing our religious leaders, be it Dawoodi, Veeri, Barkati or Mohammad Shafi. Yesterday, the NIA called Rehmatullah (Qasmi) for questioning. This is a direct attack on our religion. They are attacking the freedom of religion, and freedom of choice to wear and eat that is granted by the constitution of the country. This will not be tolerated, we have had enough. In 2019, they attacked our dignity and identity but now it has come to our religion as well,” she said.

BJP general secretary Ashok Koul said his party was not in favour of imposing dress codes.

“It’s a religious issue. We are neither against it, nor in its favour. A person is free to wear whatever she wants. If anyone wants to wear a saree or salwar, there should be no compulsion in it. 

“Every person is free to wear clothes of their choice,” Koul said.

National Conference (NC) chief spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq said it was unfortunate to witness such incidents in the Muslim-majority Union Territory.

“Wearing a Hijab should be a personal choice, and there should be no interference in matters of religious attire. It is unfortunate to witness such incidents in a Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir,” Sadiq said in a tweet.

The NC chief spokesperson said the party opposes the school directive and urged the administration to take immediate corrective action.  

“We strongly oppose this and urge for immediate corrective action. This is the Vishwa Bharti Higher Secondary School Rainawari Srinagar. I request the @OfficeOfLGJandK, @SrinagarPolice and @AsadamAijaz (deputy commissioner Srinagar) to intervene promptly before the situation escalates,” he said. 

Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam said while the school has issued a clarification, girls have a right to protect their modesty by wearing the abaya.

“A rebuttal has been issued by the educational institution that they have not issued any order banning the abaya. The school, which was earlier for girls only, has now become a co-educational school. Hence, the girls have all the right to wear a burqa to maintain their modesty,” Islam said.

Darakshan Andrabi, the chairperson of the Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board, was the sole voice supporting the ban.

“Colleges have a uniform, which is compulsory. Every profession works as per a dress code be it teachers’ or doctors’. The education system will deteriorate if the students don’t wear the uniform,” Andrabi said.

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