Parents and guardians of nearly 30 students have reportedly agreed to back-out from the week old protest following a meeting with the school authorities. This comes a day after the president of the Central Muslim Committee K.S.M. Masood visited the village and held talks with both jamath members and the agitating students.
During his discussion with the members of the Athur jamath he had expressed hope of finding a solution to the issue after holding a talk with the Pejawar seer Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji, who is on a chaturmasa at present. The seer is the honorary president of the college management body.
"Once the swami returns from Chaturmasa, we will try to convince him about the importance of wearing scarf. He will hopefully heed to our request," Mr. Masood had said. But there was no unanimity on his proposal as a few community members insisted that the protest was the only way to safeguard "our legitimate right".
The split had also become evident among the student community, with some favouring returning to classes as "eventually they will be the losers". The number of protesters had also come down over the last three days with many parents preferring to avoid a showdown with the management. "Those who are fighting for their constitutional right now should have thought seriously about these issues before joining their wards to the college," said a parent.
The stalemate appeared to continue further with the Campus Front of India, backing the protesters and declaring that the students would fight till the end for their right. The same day the principals and managements of private educational institutions held a meeting in Puttur under the chairmanship of former MLA K. Ram Bhat and decided not to allow any deviation in the uniform rules. "If any lenience is allowed it will have a state-wide impact. This is a ploy by organisations like KFD to split student community on religious lines," Mr. Bhat had said.
Meanwhile, speaking to coastaldigest.com, principal of the college Vasanth Rao claimed that as many as 30 parents had agreed to send their wards to college from tomorrow. "18 parents of male students and 12 parents of girl students attended today's meeting. They have agreed to send their wards to class from tomorrow. They have informed me that the decision had been taken in consultation with the office-bearers of the Muslim Central Committee," he said.
He also maintained that until Swamiji returns from Chaturmasa on September 30, the issue would be kept in the backburner. "They will then hold talks with the swamiji and decide their future course of action," the principal said.
He also hoped that the parents would be able to convince others. "There are more than 70 students who are out there. We hope they will also return to the classroom," he said.
Speaking to ‘coastaldigest.com’, Safana, a second year B.Com student, said she was desperately waiting for the stalemate to get over. "We have huge respect for the institution. We take pride in saying that we are the students of that college. All we have asked them is to make a small concession for us by allowing us to wear scarf, which is a religious obligation," she said.
She also pointed out that it was with great difficulty that Muslim girls get the opportunity to study in college. "We don't have anywhere else to go. We were sent to the college only because it was close by. If the stand-off continues we will have to sit at home," Safana, who has got distinction in the second year PUC, said.
She also insisted that the agitation was spontaneous and it was not at the behest of any organisation. "We had given a memorandum a couple of weeks ago seeking permission to wear scarf. During the admission even the principal had promised some parents that the management would consider the request favourably," Safana said.
Meanwhile, Samad, one of the protesters, maintained that the agitation would continue. "Only a handful of people who have links with the management have gone to the meeting. Now they are trying to convince us," he said. The number of protesters on Wednesday had come down drastically with many preferring a wait-and-watch approach than taking a confrontationist stance.