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Four, including Principal, booked for humiliation of 68 girls in Bhuj hostel

The authorities of the SSGI had demanded that the 68 girls prove that they were menstruating

Sabrangindia 15 Feb 2020

Bhuj Hostel

Four people have been booked in an FIR in the Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute (SSGI) case where 68 girls were allegedly forced to strip to prove that they were not menstruating. The National Commission of Women (NCW) too has taken suo moto cognizance in the matter and has set up an enquiry committee to probe the matter. The Gujarat State Women Commission too has ordered the state police to carry out an investigation.

The police have booked Principal Rita Raninga, hostel coordinator Anita Chauhan, hostel supervisor Rameelaben and peon Naynaben on charges of sexual harassment, extortion and criminal intimidation among other charges on Friday.

Students of the institute confirmed to The Indian Express that the administration kept the girls in physical isolation during their monthly period, but this was the first time the girls were asked to strip.

Students said the incident was triggered after a hostel staff found a blood-soaked sanitary napkin on the hostel premises. Post this the authorities wanted to identify the “culprit” who had “violated the menstrual cycle norms of the college”. The student said, “The warden informed the principal of the college and asked her to take action. They made an announcement and asked all hostel residents to assemble in the lobby where the principal threatened to rusticate us from the college if we protested against the check. One by one, they called us into the washroom where the female peon made us remove the layers of our clothes until we showed her that we were not menstruating. It was hurtful.”

At the institute which is run by the Swaminarayan sect of Bhuj, the girls are prescribed a set of rules to be followed during their menstrual cycle. They have to reportedly enter details of their period which is maintained in a hostel register and the dates of the period entered by the girls are tallied each month by way of a mandatory disclosure to be done by the girls.

A student said, “They have a register at the hostel, in which every girl must write her name each time her period starts. This girl is then asked to leave her hostel room and stay in isolation in a dimly lit room in the basement of the hostel building, with no contact with others. She is not allowed to visit her room or the dining hall or participate in prayers at the institution till she has her period. If she needs something from her room, she can tell her roommate to leave it at the door of the isolated room. Meals are served to her in separate utensils and she should sit in the lobby of the dining hall and eat.”

The students said that during their period, they cannot participate in prayers or have food with hostel mates in the dining hall. Their meals are given to them through a passage in the basement where they are kept for three days. Nor are they allowed to touch their teachers or classmates.

The girls who protested at the humiliation meted out by the authorities were asked to take a Transfer Certificate from the college, say students. Only 25 girls have come forward to lodge a complaint, as the families of others are closely associated with the religious order of the sect.

The girls who live in the hostel are not allowed to have mobile phones. Students say it was the day scholars who helped them in their despair and informed their parents about the incident.

The Vice-Chancellor in-chare, Darshana Dholakia of the Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kachh University (KSKVKU) to which the SSGI is affiliated, confirmed that the college administration did maintain such a register.

The VC has asked for the expulsion of the Prinicipal, hostel rector and the peon. Laxman Shiyani, secretary of the working committee of the SSGI said, “The students have complained against them and, therefore, we have suspended them pending an inquiry against them.”


Related:

Don’t label anti-CAA protesters ‘traitors’, people bound to defend rights in a democracy: Bombay HC
Death by excreta: The cursed lives of India's manual scavengers

 

Four, including Principal, booked for humiliation of 68 girls in Bhuj hostel

The authorities of the SSGI had demanded that the 68 girls prove that they were menstruating

Bhuj Hostel

Four people have been booked in an FIR in the Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute (SSGI) case where 68 girls were allegedly forced to strip to prove that they were not menstruating. The National Commission of Women (NCW) too has taken suo moto cognizance in the matter and has set up an enquiry committee to probe the matter. The Gujarat State Women Commission too has ordered the state police to carry out an investigation.

The police have booked Principal Rita Raninga, hostel coordinator Anita Chauhan, hostel supervisor Rameelaben and peon Naynaben on charges of sexual harassment, extortion and criminal intimidation among other charges on Friday.

Students of the institute confirmed to The Indian Express that the administration kept the girls in physical isolation during their monthly period, but this was the first time the girls were asked to strip.

Students said the incident was triggered after a hostel staff found a blood-soaked sanitary napkin on the hostel premises. Post this the authorities wanted to identify the “culprit” who had “violated the menstrual cycle norms of the college”. The student said, “The warden informed the principal of the college and asked her to take action. They made an announcement and asked all hostel residents to assemble in the lobby where the principal threatened to rusticate us from the college if we protested against the check. One by one, they called us into the washroom where the female peon made us remove the layers of our clothes until we showed her that we were not menstruating. It was hurtful.”

At the institute which is run by the Swaminarayan sect of Bhuj, the girls are prescribed a set of rules to be followed during their menstrual cycle. They have to reportedly enter details of their period which is maintained in a hostel register and the dates of the period entered by the girls are tallied each month by way of a mandatory disclosure to be done by the girls.

A student said, “They have a register at the hostel, in which every girl must write her name each time her period starts. This girl is then asked to leave her hostel room and stay in isolation in a dimly lit room in the basement of the hostel building, with no contact with others. She is not allowed to visit her room or the dining hall or participate in prayers at the institution till she has her period. If she needs something from her room, she can tell her roommate to leave it at the door of the isolated room. Meals are served to her in separate utensils and she should sit in the lobby of the dining hall and eat.”

The students said that during their period, they cannot participate in prayers or have food with hostel mates in the dining hall. Their meals are given to them through a passage in the basement where they are kept for three days. Nor are they allowed to touch their teachers or classmates.

The girls who protested at the humiliation meted out by the authorities were asked to take a Transfer Certificate from the college, say students. Only 25 girls have come forward to lodge a complaint, as the families of others are closely associated with the religious order of the sect.

The girls who live in the hostel are not allowed to have mobile phones. Students say it was the day scholars who helped them in their despair and informed their parents about the incident.

The Vice-Chancellor in-chare, Darshana Dholakia of the Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kachh University (KSKVKU) to which the SSGI is affiliated, confirmed that the college administration did maintain such a register.

The VC has asked for the expulsion of the Prinicipal, hostel rector and the peon. Laxman Shiyani, secretary of the working committee of the SSGI said, “The students have complained against them and, therefore, we have suspended them pending an inquiry against them.”


Related:

Don’t label anti-CAA protesters ‘traitors’, people bound to defend rights in a democracy: Bombay HC
Death by excreta: The cursed lives of India's manual scavengers

 

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