By Kibria Ansary

Sanjida Quader, an assistant professor at LJD Law College in Kolkata, has resigned after allegedly facing repeated mental harassment for wearing a hijab. Despite continuous pressure from college authorities to remove her hijab, Quader refused and ultimately decided to leave her job.

Sanjida Quader is a resident of Murarai block in West Bengal’s Birbhum district. She had been teaching at LJD Law College, a private educational institution under the University of Calcutta, for more than two years. She started wearing the hijab during the month of Ramadan following religious rituals.

On May 30, Ashok Das, the office staff of the college, suddenly told her that she would not be allowed to enter the college wearing a hijab. When asked why it was forbidden to wear the hijab, he said, “This is violating the dress code of our college.”

She resigned last Wednesday, June 5, under pressure from the college authorities.

In her resignation letter, Quader wrote, “I am compelled to resign due to the anti-hijab policy of the college authorities. Being asked to remove my hijab is in conflict with my religious beliefs and values.”

Sanjida Quader told The Observer Post, “I have been going to college wearing a hijab for quite some time. No one ever interrupted me. And this is the first time I have heard of a dress code for professors. There is no mention on the college website or in the guidebook that hijab cannot be worn. I asked the authorities if a Sikh wearing a turban would not be allowed to attend classes. They said the Sikh case is different and that I can’t wear a hijab here because this is not a religious institution. They want to create a ‘neutral space’ with no religious activities. If this college is a ‘neutral space,’ then how can Saraswati Puja and Holi festival be celebrated here? When asked, the authorities could not answer.”

The dress code was created by the college, and the authorities have said that they have to come to the college according to the dress code.

This story was originally published in Read the full story here.