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Monday, February 6, 2023

India: students stripped naked to see if they have their period

Ahmedabad | Dozens of Indian female students were forced to strip naked this week at a Hindu university to check if they were menstruating, with house rules requiring them to step aside during their menstruation, reported on Friday, the media and an establishment official.

The facts occurred on Monday at the Sahjanand Girls Institute in the city of Bhuj in the state of Gujarat (West India), an establishment run by the Hindu sect Swaminarayan. It also manages sumptuous temples around the world, including one in London.  

The investigation started with the discovery of a used sanitary napkin in a garden in front of the university. Its internal regulations prohibit young women from staying in student residences during menstrual periods and oblige them to isolate themselves in a basement, as well as to stay away from the kitchen and place of worship.  

They must also sit at the back of the class during lessons.  

University officials lined up 68 female students in the restroom and ordered them one by one to undress, the students told local press.  

“There are no words to describe the humiliation we experienced,” a student who was among those expressing her anger Thursday outside the establishment told reporters on Thursday.  

The university has launched an investigation and has indicated that it may take action against its employees who initiated the review.  

“The girls were informed of the rules of the residence before their admission,” however, told AFP the university official, Pravin Pindoria.  

“I have called a meeting of the administrative committee which will take action against those responsible,” he added.  

Feminine rules remain a deeply-held taboo in India. In some rural areas, women have to live away from the community for their entire duration. They are also prohibited from entering certain temples during their menstruation.  

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