More than 60 girl students of a college in Gujarat’s Kutch district were allegedly forced by hostel authorities to remove their undergarments to check if they were menstruating.
Terming the incident “unacceptable”, the State Women Commission (GSWC) has written a suo moto letter to Bhuj Superintendent of Police and initiated an inquiry into the case.
“Our team is speaking to the students at the hostel and trying to ascertain the facts of the case. We have lady constables as well as members of the Mahila Adalat of Bhuj as part of this team that is visiting the institution to gather facts,” Leela Ankoliya, GSWC chairperson, said.
“They will send me a report by tomorrow. We have taken this action suo moto after watching the news reports. What has happened with the girls is unacceptable,” Ankoliya added.
The incident took place on February 11 in the Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute (SSGI), run by a trust of the Swaminarayan Temple, in Bhuj, news agency PTI reported.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has also taken cognizance of the incident and has set up an inquiry team to visit and speak with the students.
“We do respect our institution, but what they did was not right. A legal action should be taken against them. We decided to call the media to throw light on the matter,” one of the girls told news agency ANI. She also alleged that the principal of the institute had blackmailed and forced them to withdraw the complaint.
“The principal and a few others have called us and tried emotionally blackmailed us. He also told us to give in writing that everything is fine now. We want legal action and not just the apology from the administration,” she added.
Darshana Dholakia, in-charge Vice-Chancellor of the Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kutch University, to which the SSGI is affiliated, has also formed a committee to probe the incident.
“The hostel has a rule that girls having periods are not supposed to take meals with other inmates. However, some menstruating girls broke this rule. When the matter reached the authorities, some of the girls voluntarily allowed a women employee to check them,” Dholakia told reporters on Friday.
“Girls have told me they apologised to authorities for breaking hostel rules. Girls told me they were not threatened and it was they (girls) who were at fault. Technically, there is nothing much left to be done in this case,” Dholakia claimed.
With inputs from PTI, ANI
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