New Delhi: In what looks like a case of religious discrimination, a Muslim girl was denied entry into the Delhi Metro while wearing a Hijab, for ‘security reasons’.
The complainant, Humera Khan, a student in Delhi who regularly wears the Hijab was at the Mayur Vihar Station on May 6 and shared the details of the incident via Facebook. Humera said she was asked to remove her Hijab during the security check. After she had complied with the instructions, she decided to put her Hijab back on, when the security lady told her “Iske sath aap board nahi kar sakte madam”.
“I asked her (Security lady) to call a senior person to whom I can talk. A man who looked much authoritative came, I said,” Sir you can check my student id, here is my address I have been travelling in metro from past 2 years and I was never stopped at any station. Just tell me the reason and I would not bother you much.” That person in a very harsh tone asked me to either leave or remove the hijab without giving any apt reason. I was left with no option except to leave, which I did,” her Facebook post reads.
An official of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, on the condition of anonymity said he was unaware of any such guidelines, and added that all security guidelines are decided by the Central Industrial Security Force and the Ministry of Home Affairs. “If such an incident has indeed happened, I request the person to write to us, so that we can look into the matter,” he said.
In a subsequent post, Humera added that she had filed a complaint with Delhi Metro. “If there exist such rule I condemn it. I have filed a complaint to DMRC. Let them revert back, let them intervene until then I would request you all to maintain peace,” her post reads.
It is important to add here that Humera had no issues with the security checks; she in fact said she was happy to comply with the orders. “My post is just to bring in notice about things happening around us. I have or never had any issues with security checks in fact I am kind of a person who make faces at people who fuss about security checks in the morning but to humiliate a citizen and mentally harassing him/her in the name of your duty is not cool,” her post reads.
“(H)ijab” is a religious sentiment for a Muslim girl. If there is any rule then why they did not consider Muslim women while making such rule. If they start making such provisions then girls like me would not have accessibility to such services. Metro is a public transport made for every citizen. If they have any security issue they should upgrade their security measures instead of making such rules. Besides, they made me remove my Hijab first, checked me thoroughly and then also didn’t let me in which was just so unacceptable,” she added.
CISF Spokesperson Hemendra Singh said there is no bar on not wearing a Hijab, and that thousands of women wear it while commuting daily in the Metro. “It is only during security check that people have to remove any veil or mask which covers their face. After that they are free to travel while wearing them. There is no guideline from us which bars a person from wearing a Hijab or a Burqa while travelling. This rule has always been in place. In the wake of Rajinder Nagar heist, since the assailants were wearing masks, these guidelines were issued once again,” he told to Media.
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