The Gujarat police have booked the principal, warden and two hostel assistants of Shri Sahjanand Girls’ Institute in Bhuj for forcibly stripping 64 female students to remove their underwear in order to prove that they were not menstruating. The incident had happened on February 11 when the students were publicly shamed and paraded.
Gujarat: 68 girl students of Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute (SSGI) in Bhuj were reportedly asked to remove their innerwear to prove that they were not menstruating. pic.twitter.com/fG0YZZNd70
— ANI (@ANI) February 14, 2020
It has come to light that the college is run by Swaminarayan Mandir’s followers. The college prevents menstruating female students from entering the temple and kitchen. As per the said practice, the menstruating students are also barred from coming in physical contact with others.
Reportedly, the principal of the college took this step after there was a complaint that menstruating were violating the norms regarding the restrictions placed on them.
Sharing her ordeal, a student said that she was in the class when she was asked whether she was on her periods. She was eventually forced to strip in the restroom. Another student alleged that the authorities had resorted to blackmailing parents to prevent them from seeking the help of the police. Another female student said that a trustee had intimidated her to leave the college hostel and sign a declaration denying the said incident.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) had taken note of the incident and have asked the principal and the warden for an explanation behind forcibly stripping students. Moreover, it had assured to visit the victims and set up an inquiry team.
The Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kutch University, to which the SSGI is affiliated, has also formed a committee to probe the incident.