In a girl’s hostel in Gujarat’s Kutch, more than 60 girls were asked to remove their undergarments to check they were not menstruating after complaints that menstruating girls entered temple and kitchen in the hostel, run by Swaminarayan sect which prohibits menstruating women from visiting temple or cooking food in the kitchen.
The incident has sparked a major controversy with the State Women’s Commission ordering an inquiry, besides a team formed by the Kutch University to probe it since the hostel is affiliated with the University.
The hostel rector and college principal resorted to this practice after complaints that some girls were violating the rule which bars any menstruating woman from visiting temple, or kitchen or even touching anyone during the period.
On Wednesday, some of the students were accused of entering the kitchen while on their period, touching other students and entering the temple.
As the complaints reached the principal, all students were called out and asked to individually remove their underwear in the restroom and prove to authorities that they were indeed not menstruating.
Shocked and insulted with the incident, some girls complained to local media in Bhuj, Kutch on Thursday. Girls in the hostel are mostly from villages of Kutch district.
The hostel authorities have criticised the incident but also defended their rule on the ground that the hostel has been set up by Swaminarayan Temple in Bhuj and its governed by the sect’s norms.