Balmukund Acharya, a BJP MLA in Jaipur, is facing protests from Muslim pupils after reportedly refusing to allow them to wear hijab in a government secondary school. In Jaipur, many schoolgirls blocked the road outside the Subhash Chowk police station and shouted slogans against the BJP MP.

Balmukund Acharya, a Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA who won the Hawa Mahal seat in the last Rajasthan Assembly Elections, is facing protests from Muslim pupils at a government senior secondary school in Jaipur. The reason: Hijab. 

 Balmukund Acharya, a BJP MLA in Rajasthan, attracted notice after closing down stores serving non-vegetarian food in his area the day after being elected. Following complaints to the National Human Rights Commission, Acharya apologised for his behaviour.

In Jaipur, many schoolgirls blocked the road outside the Subhash Chowk police station and shouted slogans against the BJP MP. They asked that the legislator apologise and file a FIR against him.

“The MLA had visited our school to attend the yearly celebration. We greeted him. We were advised that hijab was not permitted. He questioned how the girls could breathe while wearing hijabs. “He should apologise,” the protesting girls told reporters.

When asked about the Muslim girl students’ protest, Balmukund Acharya, the MLA from the Hawa Mahal seat, informed reporters that he had spoken with the school administrator about the dress code guidelines.

“I questioned the school principal whether there is a provision for two distinct gowns at a government school’s January 26 programme or yearly celebration. “The principal has said no, and the students are not following,” Acharya added.

According to the BJP MLA, the girls were wearing hijab or burqas during the school function.

“There were two distinct atmospheres evident there. So, I approached the principal about the clothing code,” Acharya explained. “Why are there two different dress codes in schools? I did not go to a Madrasa and ask them to alter their clothes. “They have their own rules,” he continued.

Balmukund Acharya later posted a video explaining his viewpoint. “I asked the principal whether they had two separate dress rules. Is there a distinct dress code for Republic Day or other official functions? “At this rate, even our children will show up in lehenga chunni,” he warned.

Balmukund Acharya told news agency ANI on Tuesday that he had spoken with the Muslim girls and that the demonstration was only being carried out by individuals who were “politics”. 

Balmukund Acharya stated, “This (protest) was carried out by a small group of political activists. I chatted with the girls and had a positive encounter with them. We discussed PM Modi’s programmes and their research…The fact is that the clothing code is not followed on events such as Republic Day, Basant Utsav, yearly festivities, and Independence Day.Why do students come in burqas and hijab? What are the new rules and regulations?…There is a separate Madrasa for this…I have merely asked the school administration to speak with the children and make sure they understand…I would encourage the CM to adopt a clothing code in all schools, with pupils wearing just their school uniforms…”

Rafeek Khan, a Congress MLA from Adarsh Nagar seat, attempted to raise the matter in the Rajasthan Assembly, but the Speaker denied him the opportunity to speak and erased his speech from the proceedings.

Assistant Police Commissioner (North) Dr Hemant Jakhar stated that the girl pupils and their families protested outside the police station on Monday in response to the MLA’s comments during a school activity.

He stated that the women pupils and their families had asked that the MLA apologise for his comments. They have also filed a complaint over this, he noted.