The NCW has also sought an explanation from the trustee of Sahjanand Girls’ Institute College. | Photo Credit: @NCWIndia
At least 60 girls in a hostel in Gujarat’s Kutch were allegedly asked to remove their undergarments to prove that they were not menstruating, after complaints that girls having periods had entered the temple and kitchen in the premises.
The hostel is part of the Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute (SSGI), run by a trust of the Swaminarayan Temple. The hostel rector and college principal are reported to have given instructions for the checking on Tuesday.
Shocked and humiliated, some girls complained to local media in Bhuj, Kutch, on Thursday. Girls in the hostel are mostly from villages of Kutch district. “What has happened is condemnable,” said the institute’s trustee Pravin Pindoria. However, some hostel authorities have defended the sect’s norms on keeping away menstruating women from the temple and the kitchen.
A student said the incident took place in the hostel located on the campus of the SSGI, which offers graduate and undergraduate courses.
The State Women’s Commission has ordered an inquiry and a team has been formed by Kutch University, to which the institute is affiliated.
“I have spoken to the local police regarding the incident and strong action will be initiated,” said State Women’s Commission chairperson Leela Ankolia. The National Commission for Women has also sought a report.
“We have sent a police team under a woman inspector to talk to the girls and are in the process of filing an FIR. Though the girls are not ready to come forward, we are confident that at least one girl will come forward to lodge an FIR,” Kutch West Superintendent of Police Saurabh Tolumbia said.
Gujarat’s Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and State Congress chief Amit Chavda condemned the incident. Mr. Patel said that the Education Department must take action. Mr. Chavda demanded that the State government order an inquiry and book those responsible for violating the dignity of the girls.-The Hindu