More than 60 students of a college in Gujarat's Bhuj were allegedly forced to remove their undergarments to prove they were not menstruating, reports said on Friday.
One of 68 students of Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute (SSGI) in Bhuj said, while speaking to Ahmedabad Mirror, they were forced to leave their classrooms and queue up outside on Thursday.
This came after the hostel head complained to the principal that some of them were violating religious norms during their menstruation.
"The principal abused and insulted us, asking which of us were having our periods. Two of us who were menstruating stepped aside," she said.
"Despite this, we were all taken to the washroom. There, female teachers asked us to individually remove our undergarments so they could check if we were menstruating," she said.
The dean of Shree Sahajanand Girls Institute said the girls were not forced to take off their undergarments.
"The matter is related to the hostel. It has nothing to do with the university or college. Everything happened with girls' permission, nobody was forced for it. Nobody touched them," Darshana Dholakia said, according to news agency ANI.
"Still, an inquiry team has been formed to look into the matter," Dholakia said.
The college comes under Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kutch University and is run by the followers of Swaminarayan Mandir.
According to the rules of the sect, menstruating women are not allowed to enter the temple and kitchen premises. Hostel inmates of the college are not even allowed to mix with each other.
"The principal, hostel rector and the trustees harass us regularly over the issue of menstruation," another student said while speaking to Ahmedabad Mirror.
One of them said the executive council member of the university, Pravin Pindoria, told the students they were free to take legal action but that they will have to vacate the hostel.
She also alleged Pindoria forced them to sign a letter saying no such incident occurred in the college.
"As the institute has a temple on campus, the girls have been instructed to follow the sect's rules. However, what happened to the students is unfair. Action will be taken," college trustee PH Hirani said while speaking to Ahmedabad Mirror.