Bengaluru, Apr 22 (IANS): As many as 6.84 lakh students on Friday appeared for the II PUC (Class 12) examinations in Karnataka amid tight security against the backdrop of the hijab row.
The hijab-clad students have been asked to remove it at the entrance and attend the examination.
Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy wished all students best of luck. He further advised that nothing is more important than life.
"Don't get into trouble throughout life by neglecting exams, let a bright future be your's," he said, indirectly referring to the hijab crisis.
Karnataka Education Minister B.C. Nagesh has announced that the students wearing hijab will not be allowed to write the II PUC examinations. The staff members are also restricted to wear hijab during the exams.
After successfully conducting SSLC (class 10) exams amid hijab controversy, the Karnataka government is holding crucial II PUC examinations from Thursday to May 18.
Sources confirmed that the four students attached to Udupi Pre-University Girl's College, who started the hijab protest, did not turn up for examinations.
The college sources explained that they did not even collect their hall tickets.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of exams as there is possibility of surfacing of hijab controversy.
The examination is being conducted in 1,076 examination centres and a total of 3,46,936 boys and 3,37,319 girls are writing the exams. Seventy-four students suffering from autism, 377 hearing impaired, 371 learning disability, 683 locomotor impairment (problem from moving from one place to another), 128 mental retardation, 103 multiple disability, 48 speech impairment, 355 visual impairment (blindness) and 55 visual impairment (low-vision) students are also enrolled for the exams.
The practical lab tests will be conducted in 1,030 examination centres and 2,67,349 students are likely to appear for it.
The students are banned from taking mobiles inside exam halls. The supervisors are permitted to carry a basic set without a camera.
Taking no chances, the state education department had sought the police security cover for all examination centres and all exam works will be carried out in police bandobust. The 200 metre zone surrounding the exam centre is declared a prohibited zone.
Earlier, the Karnataka High Court Special bench, headed by the Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, had dismissed the petition by students seeking permission to wear hijab in classrooms.
The bench had also noted that wearing of hijab is not an essential practice of Islam.
The hijab controversy started with students of Udupi Pre-University College and it spread across the state creating a crisis.