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NEET candidate’s harassment: Human Rights Commission seeks explanation

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Human Rights Commission took suo moto cognizance of the harassment of a girl appearing for NEET exam by an invigilator over the candidate’s dress code and sought an explanation from the CBSE regional director.

The Commission that asked the CBSE official to file a reply within three weeks also sought an explanation from Kannur District Police Chief G Siva Vikaram as the incident happened in the district.

The Commission has also written to the National Human Rights Commission seeking its intervention in the matter.

In a shocking incident, a girl appearing for NEET exam at a centre in Kannur was allegedly told by an invigilator to remove her top innerwear, in the name of adhering to the CBSE dress code.

The mother of the 19-year-old candidate, who appeared for the examination Sunday at a centre at Pariyaram in Kannur, claimed her daughter was asked to remove her top inner wear before writing the exam.

“After my daughter entered the exam centre, she came out and handed me her bra, saying she had been asked to remove it as per the CBSE dress code,” the girl’s mother said.

She alleged the invigilator had directed her daughter to do so after a metal detector emitted a “beep sound”.

There was apparently a metal hook in the innerwear, which set off the alarm.

Kannur District Police Chief G Siva Vikaram said a case would be registered if the parents or the girl filed a complaint.

“So far we have not received any complaint. The Special Branch has been asked to look into the incident,” he said.

National Eligibility cum Entrance Test or NEET-UG is an entrance examination for students who wish to study any graduate medical course in the country.

Different centres in the state also reported instances of girls being asked to remove their head scarves and full sleeve dresses of both girls and boys being cut off.

The issue echoed in the state Assembly, which is in session, with Education Minister C Raveendranath saying the government would look into the matter.

However, state education department sources said the state had no role in the conduct of the NEET exam. All directions on its conduct was being given by CBSE, they said.

Former state unit chief of the Congress, V M Sudheeran, condemned the incident and said, “The ordeal (of the girl) was cruel and a blot on the state.”

He also demanded that the government conduct a probe and punish the guilty.

The Kerala Women’s Commission has ordered a probe into the incident.

CPI(M) MP P K Sreemathi also condemned the incident, saying the authorities would be held responsible if the girl failed to qualify as she had been “mentally harassed”

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