Shiv Sena calls for ban on burqa in public places

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Wednesday called for a ban on the use of burqa by women of a particular community as it threw its weight behind a similar plan being mulled by the Sri Lankan government in the wake of the Easter terror strikes which claimed over 250 lives.

“This restriction has been recommended as an emergency measure to ensure the security forces do not encounter difficulties in identifying anybody. People wearing face-masks or burqas could pose a threat to national security,” said the Sena in an editorial in the party mouthpieces, “Saamana” and “Dopahar Ka Saamana”.

The Daily Mirror had quoted sources on Tuesday saying the Sri Lankan government was planning to implement the move in consultation with the mosque authorities and that several Ministers had spoken to President Maithripala Sirisena on the matter.

It had been pointed out that ‘burqa’ and ‘niqab’ were never part of the traditional attire of Muslim women in Sri Lanka until the Gulf war in the early 1990s “which saw extremist elements introducing the garb to Muslim women”, the daily said.

A number of female accomplices of the suicide bombers in Dematagoda, a Colombo neighbourhood, where three policemen were killed, too had escaped wearing burqas, reports had said.