Mumbai: Citing security reasons after attempted abduction of some of its students, Symbiosis Convent High School in Mumbra has banned use of Burqa - whole body cover, in its premises for students and their parents both.
The decision has been welcomed by students and parents, but there are some others who have expressed their displeasure.
In a circular issued earlier this month, the school management said students’ parents and family members would have to reveal their face by lifting the veil while entering school premises.
It also said students would not be allowed to cover their faces while leaving school.
“Some students left school in a fully-veiled burkha. When their parents came, our security wouldn’t know where their girls were,” school trustee Kamalraj Deo said citing a case where the school suspected abduction by fully covered women disguised as parents.
"The school recently came across two women seeking to take their child home early. Their faces were covered. We summoned the class teacher, but before she could arrive, the two ran away,” Kamalraj Deo said, calling it an attempted abduction.
Though many parents have expressed discomfort at what they deem to be interference with religious practices, some others welcomed the decision.
“I don’t intend to hurt any religious sentiments, but on camera, faces need to be revealed, for our records… It is purely for safety reasons,” said Deo.
Most of the Muslim females nowadays have started using Hijab which keeps their faces visible, though Burqa or whole body cover is also widely used.
Misuse of Niqaab or face veil by anti-social elements are not ruled out. There are various cases reported recently when burqa clad women were involved in abduction and other anti-social activities.
Interestingly, burqa or veil was also used recently by some political parties in their rallies to show that they have support from Muslim women.