Authorities allegedly forced a 17-year-old student to remove her bra in north Kerala’s Kannur as part of stringent measures to stop cheating and irregularities in a national medical entrance examination on Sunday.
The woman – who didn’t want to be identified – told HT she was wearing a bra with a steel buckle that caused a metal detector installed outside the examination centre to beep, when she reached at 9.20 am on Sunday.
With 10 minutes to go for the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET), she said she was asked to remove her underwear.
“Since there was no toilet nearby I removed it there itself and gave it to my mother waiting outside,” she said. “It was a humiliating experience.”
Kannur district collector Mir Mohamed Ali said he would look into the incident. State human rights commission member J Prameela Devi also criticised the incident and sought details from the district administration.
The State Human Rights Commission has filed a case. It has also sought an explanation from CBSE regional director here.
Authorities have deployed huge police teams, physical frisking of candidates and a strict dress code to check any attempts of cheating for the all-India exam conducted in more than 100 cities. Dark-coloured clothing, full-sleeve shirts, closed shoes and big buttons have been banned.
But many students have criticised the preparations that they say has turned the examination centre into a war zone and caused unnecessary hassles.
“It is sad some officials take sadistic pleasure in the name of discipline. It is nothing but sheer ignorance is forcing some of them to take such nasty actions. Such officials should be taken out of their assignment immediately,” said the father of the student, and said he was planning to file a complaint against examination authorities.
The woman told HT that the humiliating incident made her more nervous during the examination and that many of her friends also suffered similar diktats but remained silent fearing stigma.
Many other woman students complained that adamant officials cut their long sleeves with scissors.
The incident has triggered a controversy in the state and the state human rights commission said it will look into the issue. CPI leader Anne Raja has sought action against officials.