In her police statement, former Virar law college principal Dr Batul Hamid says the management told her to ditch the hijab and wear a saree, as details of the kind of harassment she faced emerge for the first time
Dr Batul Hamid at an event at Viva College of Law in Virar. Pic/Viva College of Law
Almost a week after the Arnala coastal police released its report on the Viva college hijab controversy stating that the matter was not related to the hijab at all. Dr Batul Hamid, the principal of Viva College of Law who resigned and claimed she was harassed and humiliated by college management over her religion and wearing hijab, has issued her statement to the police on Wednesday and claimed a college staff had asked her to stop wearing the hijab. Dr Hamid on Wednesday alleged, “The management has twisted facts pertaining to my resignation and presented them before the police and public.”
In a written statement to the police on Wednesday, Dr Hamid said, “This statement is being issued in very compelling situations. As the news of my resignation spread, a number of videos from the side of the management of Viva College of Law are regularly being broadcast, twisting the facts regarding my resignation and a vilification campaign is being made, painting me as a publicity-seeker without addressing my actual grievances.”
Dr Batul Hamid during a seminar at Viva College of Law, Virar
She mentioned a few instances that, she claimed, led to her humiliation and harassment by staff and management. “Once some people from the Dawoodi Bohra community, to which I too belong to, came to my office to inquire about admissions etc. After that day some people in the management started accusing me of propagating my religion on campus using this instance. I was questioned about the same during a board member meeting on December 14, 2021, when I was interrogated over the issue for two hours,” alleged Dr Hamid.
In her statement to police, Dr Hamid has for the first time mentioned that she was told to stop wearing a hijab and start wearing sarees to college instead by one of the staff members. However, she has not named the staff member. “I was left with just two options—either to surrender and remain silent, or to resign and speak up against the infringement of my civil and fundamental rights. So I chose the latter and decided to resign and speak up for my dignity, religious identity and culture,” said Dr Hamid.
Speaking to mid-day, R K Mane, senior inspector of Arnala Coastal police station said that they have asked Dr Hamid to visit the police station and register a complaint, but she has done neither. “After visiting the college twice, talking to the trustee, staff and Dr Hamid herself, we have realised that she has not put the harassment over hijab allegation on record anywhere, but has given statements to the media. In the statement that she has sent was sent to us on WhatsApp, and not in person, she has not named any individual but the entire management and staff. We can help her only if she comes and files a complaint or shares proof. Otherwise, this does not look like a Hijab matter.”
Dec 14, 2021
Day of the board meeting where she was questioned about propagating her religion
Day Dr Hamid resigned from her position