Candidates appearing for a competitive exam for the recruitment of Village Revenue Officers (VROs) by the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) were forced to remove their Mangalsutra before entering an exam centre at Little Flower School at Narsapur.
As per reports, the women repeatedly asserted that the direction went against their religious sentiments but the officials refused to heed their requests. Husbands of those affected could be seen protesting outside the school with the Mangalsutra of their wives in their hands. The Police then entered the scene to resolve the issue.
The Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) condemned the attitude of the officials, terming it insensitive and anti-Hindu. ABVP-Telangana secretary L. Ayyappa claimed that the TSPSC Chairman was to be blamed for the incident and demanded that action should be taken against the officials for hurting religious sentiments of the candidates.
TSPSC Chairman Ghanta Chakrapani clarified that no instructions were issued to ask candidates to remove their Mangalsutra before entering the hall although women were told to not wear expensive jewellery. “Maybe the authorities at the centre didn’t understand the instructions. But none of the 290-odd married women allotted to the centre was sent back. Some people tried to make it a big issue out of it,” he is reported to have said.
The Hindustan Times quoted a senior official speaking on the condition of anonymity that the rule banning gold ornaments does not apply to Mangalsutra. “Even during the preparatory meetings with the examination officials, we told them specifically not to insist on removal of mangalsutras. Perhaps, the examination superintendent at the Narsapur centre did not understand it properly,” the official reportedly said.
Later it was reported that the examination has been blacklisted by TSPSC over the issue. TSPSC has also asked the District Collector to conduct an enquiry and send a detailed report. Meanwhile, a petition has been filed with the State Human Rights Commission against TSPSC for alleged mistreatment of women.