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Hijab, other religious symbols could affect secular nature of Student Police Cadet; cannot be part of uniform: Kerala govt

The order said that the SPC is a voluntary co-curricular activity and not a mandatory or compulsory education programme and it envisages a dress code so that students can work towards gender justice, non-racial and non-religious discrimination among children.

Hence, combining religious matters with uniforms would question the discipline and secular survival of the forces, the government order said.

It further stated that if such a waiver is considered in the SPC project, similar demands will be made with respect to other similar forces, which will significantly affect the secularism of the State.

“Combining religious matters with uniforms in the present situation would raise the same demands in other similarly functioning forces, which would question the discipline and secular survival of the forces,” the order said.

The order came pursuant to a direction of the Kerala High Court to decide the representation of an 8th standard student, Riza Nahan, who had moved the High Court seeking permission to wear full sleeve dress and scarf to cover her head, in conformity with her religious practice.

The Court had by way of a judgment dated September 20, 2021 had asked the girl to make a representation to the Home Secretary of the State narrating her grievance.

Pursuant to the same, she wrote to the Home Department of the State highlighting the issue.

A hearing was conducted online on December 10, 2021, which was attended via video conference by the petitioner, her mother and the Additional State Nodal Officer and Superintendent of Police (Excise & Vigilance) of the Student Police Cadet Project.

Source: Barandbench

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