On Thursday night, wardens at the Akal University in Punjab found a used sanitary pad in the hostel washroom.
Immediately after, they called two female security guards and allegedly made a dozen girls strip to check who among them were menstruating, ANI reported.
After the incident, students filed a complaint with vice-chancellor Gurmail Singh and held a protest on campus demanding legal action against the wardens and security guards.
However, the authorities, who initially described the incident as a small mistake ultimately terminated the services of all those accused after the protest gained momentum.
The Business Standard quoted the dean, M.S. Johal, of Akal University as saying, “We received a complaint from the students following which a committee was set up and four employees were immediately terminated. We are trying to maintain a healthy relationship and two-way communication with the students so that such incidents do not occur again.”
According to the Times of India, students alleged that the general atmosphere in the college is overwhelmingly conservative, wherein the authorities don’t allow male and female students to even talk to each other.
However, the university administration has still not filed any police complaint against the accused and the Punjab State Women Commission has also not received any complaints in this regard.
This is not the first time that a school has forced female students to strip.
Last year, two government school teachers in Punjab’s Fazilka district allegedly stripped two girls when they found a used sanitary pad in the school’s toilet. The state government ordered action after the chief minister was informed about the incident, NDTV reported.
The two teachers were then transferred to other locations.
In 2017, 70 girls in a residential school in Muzaffarnagar were allegedly forced to strip by the Principal who wanted to check for menstrual blood. A student told Hindustan Times that a school official ordered girls to remove their clothes when they saw blood stains in the bathroom.
Similarly, in 2015, a school headmistress in Karnataka made over 12 girls strip to search for a missing 100 rupee note. The state education department later suspended the headmistress when parents held a protest outside the school, India Today reported.
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