Days after an 18-year-old girl student from Kerala approached the state police with a complaint that a male invigilator at her NEET centre in Palakkad stared at her chest during the test, the Kerala State Human Rights Commission has urged action against the official.
In a written complaint, the student had said that she, along with 25 other girl students, were asked to remove their bra citing that it had metal hooks on them. Following this, the student alleged that a male invigilator repeatedly stared at her chest during the examination, which made her uncomfortable.
In its directive to the state police, the commission has sought action against the NEET officials who forced the girl student to take off her bra and also against the male invigilator who allegedly stared at her chest.
The commission has reportedly said that the male invigilator will be identified in the presence of the girl student and that an enquiry will be made. The commission has said it will take action if the official is found to be at fault.
The Commission stated that forcing a student to remove innerwear, for whatever reason, constituted a human rights violation. The commission has given the police one month’s time to investigate and submit a report.
Meanwhile, Palakkad North Town police are investigating the case after booking the male invigilator under section 509 of the IPC based on the girl's complaint.
Sub-Inspector Ranjith told TNM that the police collected information from the exam centre, Lions School in Koppam.
“The school has given us a few documents. The accused invigilator was sent as an external observer by the CBSE. Based on the records from the school, we have a name, but we are awaiting a response from the CBSE regarding his identity. We are told that the regional office of CBSE does not have any documentation regarding the external observers sent to NEET centres in Kerala. So the documents have to come from the main office, hence it will take a few more days,” the SI said.
The girl student, speaking earlier to TNM, had said that a male invigilator kept staring at her chest, making her utterly uncomfortable.
“He kept dropping into the class once in a while. In the entire duration of the test, he came to my class at least 4 times. The first time, I did not pay much attention when he came and stood near me. But then after some time he returned and I felt that he was standing in front of me for an unusually long time. When I looked up, I caught him staring at my chest,” Saira* (not real name) said.
She added that she had to cover her chest with the question paper. “I couldn’t see half of the questions on the paper, since I was scared to take it off while he was there looking at my chest. A fourth time, I saw him standing outside the class, near the window and looking,” she said.