FIR against Bhuj college principal for forcing 64 girl students to remove underwear

Besides the college principal, police have also booked the hostel warden and two women hostel assistants.

The Gujarat Police has registered an FIR against the principal of a college in Bhuj for forcing 64 girl students to remove their underwear in order prove they weren’t on period.

Besides the college principal, police have also booked the hostel warden and two women hostel assistants.

WHAT’s THE MATTER?

The case pertains to Shri Sahjanand Girls’ Institute in Gujarat’s Bhuj district. Students of this college have complained that their principal with the help of three other staff members forced them to remove their underwear. The students said they were also insulted and paraded.

It is reported that the college follows a practice of segregating menstruating girl students. The college adheres to norms requiring menstruating women to avoid physical contact with other students, and stay out of the kitchen and a nearby temple.

The college is run by followers of Swaminarayan Mandir and nearly 1,500 students are enrolled in it.

The principal is said to have stepped in after receiving a complaint that menstruating women had violated norms banning contact with others or entering the kitchen and temple.

According to one student’s account of this week’s events, the women were interrupted during lessons, publicly asked which of them was on her period, and forced to take off their underwear in a restroom. Another student said the harassment was routine.

The second student explained that women from distant Gujarat villages had to live in a hostel housing school students, in the absence of dedicated accommodation for college-goers.

A trustee allegedly told them they were welcome to go to court, but imposed two conditions: the women should leave the school hostel and sign a declaration denying that anything had happened to them.

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women has said it is “disturbed” to her about this case and has promised to set up an inquiry team that will meet the students.

The NCW said the principal and one of the trustees have been asked for an explanation.

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