Anger in Kerala over headscarf row

Thiruvananthapuram, July 26 (IANS) A day after a nun was barred from taking a national medical test here after refusing to remove her headgear, a section of Kerala’s political and religious leaders on Sunday reacted sharply.

Congress state unit president V.M. Sudheeran said it was unfortunate that a nun was prevented from wearing her official dress while writing the examination.

“The onus is on the government to see that such things do not happen. Such acts affect the faith of an individual,” he said in a statement here.

Sister Seba, a nun with the Syro Malankara Church, was denied permission to take the All-India Pre-Medical Test after she refused to remove her headgear despite a Supreme Court ruling.

The apex court last week refused to restrain the Central Board of Secondary Education from enforcing a dress code for the AIPMT. The court said a ban on certain types of dresses was meant to prevent fraud.

Sister Seba said she had sought a separate room to write the examination without the headscarf but this request was turned down.

E.T. Mohammed Basheer, a Lok Sabha MP from the Indian Union Muslim League, said the observation of the Supreme Court on the dress code was not acceptable.

“The court should not have given such a ruling,” said Basheer.

Syro Malankara Church supreme head Cardinal Baselious Mar Cleemis said: “The fact is she agreed to be frisked… If she had disagreed, then it’s a different matter. Such a thing should not have happened.”

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