In a shameful case in the Bhuj tehsil of Kutch, Gujarat, staffers of a girls institute forced the students to strip, ordering them to remove even their undergarments, to check whether they were menstruating. The staff of the institute made the girls sign a document to indemnify the college in case it got into a legal trouble.
The Bhuj college’s women directors warned the students that they would have to leave the institute if they protested. But the students did protest and demand action against the offending staffers.
The National Commission for Women has constituted an investigation team, taking suo motu cognisance of the matter.
Bhuj college teachers took girls to bathrooms, forced them to strip
The students of Shri Sahajanand Girls Institute (SSGI) in Bhuj allege that they were thrown out of class on 12 February. According to them, the principal expelled them from the class.
After asking them whether they were menstruating, every student was called separately to the washroom for an investigation. The clothes of every girl were removed to check whether she was having the monthly periods.
When they objected, the staff members called some students in the office and threatened them with emotional blackmail. They said if the girls had any respect for the teachers, they should not take any hostile action.
The students said that on Wednesday, they had received a call from the hostel in the college that the girl students’ menstruation cycles would be investigated. After this, the students were asked to gather at one place. The girls were told those having the monthly discharge must sit separately.
On hearing this, two of the girls stood up and sat separately. The teachers then suspected that some of the other girls may be lying. Then all the students were forced to take clothes off for an ‘investigation’.
The students said that college principal Ritaben Raninga and other teachers forced them to strip.
Principal’s ‘reason’ for the outrageous exercise
According to sources, someone had complained that some girl students had entered the kitchen and temple during their periods.
Students of the institute fear that their exam results may be affected because of their protest. Students said that 68 students of the SSGI were forced to undress to check for their menstrual cycles.
Dean of the Institute Darshana Dholakia said it was a matter of the hostel. It has nothing to do with the entire institution. “Whatever happened has happened with the consent of the girls. No one was forced to do this. The matter is being investigated,” she said.