The Government Brennen College in Thalassery in Kerala witnessed a college-wide protest on Wednesday evening after the Principal summoned a girl student to her room for talking to a male friend inside the campus.
It all started when a girl student was spending her free hour with a male friend around 3 pm on Wednesday. The Principal of the college, NL Beena, summoned the girl to her room and allegedly insulted her verbally for what the Principal said was ‘immoral’ behaviour.
The Principal allegedly questioned the student on who the person she was talking to and how he was related to her.
“After the girl was summoned to the Principal’s room, she was asked whom she was talking to. When she replied that the male student was her brother, the Principal asked her how he was related to her,” says Akhil, a Students’ Federation of India (SFI) worker.
“The girl then replied that all seniors are called brothers in the college and also told the Principal that she was outside the class because it was a free hour. The Principal then abused and shamed her,” added Akhil.
After learning about the incident, the students organised a protest under the leadership of SFI and marched to the Principal’s room, demanding that she apologise.
“This was totally outrageous and uncalled for. We marched to the Principal’s room and demanded that the Principal apologise to the girl student,” said Akhil.
Under mounting pressure from the protesting students, the Principal supposedly apologised to the girl student and the protest was called off later in the day.
However, talking to TNM, the Principal denied that she shamed the student and claimed that an ordinary college incident was turned into an unnecessary controversy.
“It is not correct that I apologised. I did not apologise to the student neither did I hurl abuses at her. We don’t have issues with girls talking to boys inside the campus. We have given them that freedom,” Beena said.
“In this particular case, the girl was talking to her friend for a prolonged time and I summoned her after I received many complaints from teachers and other staff on that day. In the presence of the HoD of her department I only asked her whom was she talking to and informed her of the complaints that I received,” added Beena.
Beena had faced a similar issue in Maharajas College in Kochi and was transferred to Brennen College after the incident. The students had then burnt her chair in the office.
“I have faces a similar incident in Maharajas College. I joined Maharajas as Principal in 2015 and I was thoroughly disappointed with the academic performance of the institution. The pass percentage had hit rock bottom and I decided to become strict with the attendance requirements of the college,” recalled Beena.
“One day when I was doing my routine rounds I found a group of girls and boys talking loudly and disturbing the adjacent class. I asked them to disperse. I asked the girls what the necessity was to waste time during class hours… and that was turned into a controversy. I had written an apology letter back then,” said Beena.
“The students who burnt my chair were dismissed by the College Council. They even transferred me so the students can be taken back by the college, but till date the students have not gotten back into the college. They are wasting their time by unnecessarily locking horns with teachers,” claimed Beena.
Meanwhile, Dharmadom police reached the college to disperse the students and ensure that law and order was maintained, after the Principal called for help.