A girl was allegedly forced to remove her innerwear before entering the examination center during the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test in Kollam on Sunday.
Parents of the aspirant have filed a police complaint against the authorities
A parent told media persons that the authorities’ reason for asking students to remove their innerwear was they “suspected something underneath”.
“As they were scanning her (my daughter) they told the metal detector has beeped and hence she should remove her innerwear. When my daughter refused, they mentally harassed her,” said the parent.
The parent said that after his daughter entered the exam center, he and his wife were about to have their lunch in the car when they got a call from a number shown as ‘information technology’ asking them to come to the gate.
“When we reached the gate, we saw our daughter in tears. She said that she and the other girls were being asked to remove part of their inner wear and asked for a shawl to wear during the test.
“My wife gave her shawl to my daughter and she went back inside and we thought that was the end of it. However, after the exam got over when our daughter came back, she was distressed and fell into my wife’s arms crying. On the way home, she told us what had transpired during the test. It was startling,” the father said.
She was sitting for her first ever NEET exam. His daughter is yet to come out of the traumatic experience wherein she had to sit for the over 3-hour long exam without a brassiere.
According to his daughter, one of the invigilators, most of them men, said that she can either remove her brassiere or she can write the exam.
“There were two rooms where undergarments of young women and girls were stacked on top of each other in violation of COVID-19 protocols. Those writing the exams are between the age groups of 17 to 23. Imagine how uncomfortable it would be for them to concentrate during the exam when surrounded by male students as well,” the anguished father said.
Reacting to the incident, Kerala Higher Education Minister R Bindu said the test was not organized by a state-run agency and what happened indicated a grave lapse on the part of the organizers.
Such conduct of the organizers towards the women and girl candidates without considering their human rights was unacceptable.
“We will be conveying our disappointment regarding what happened to the Centre and the National Testing Agency (NTA) — a central government agency that conducts entrance examinations for educational institutions.” — the minister said.