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Nursing college students allege harassment by principal in Kerala

Tuesday, Mar 7, 2017,18:14 IST By anju A A A

Kollam/Kerala | Around 200 nursing students of a private college here are on a strike against alleged harassment by their principal, including preventing them from locking doors even while changing clothes in hostel rooms.

The girl students at Upasana College of Nursing launched the agitation yesterday in front of the institute, demanding removal of principal Jessikutty.

They alleged that she addressed students of lower caste by their caste names and imposed fine even for ‘trivial’ matters.

Jessikutty did not answer to repeated calls seeking her response to the students’ charges.

A student claimed that boarders of the girls’ hostel were not even allowed to close the doors while changing dress.

“The principal calls students by their caste name. One of the students in our batch also had to face the harassment. Not just that, there is no permission even to close doors while changing clothes,” the student told a TV channel.

If a hostel room is closed or two beds are put together, the students are accused of indulging in homosexual activities or using mobile phones secretly, the students claimed.

They also alleged that accessing Internet in the college library was also barred as the management accuses them of using it for watching porn.

CCTV cameras were installed not only in classrooms but even in corridors to keep an eye on students, they claimed, adding the principal imposed fine for even growing nails.

The students are demanding the principal’s removal and relaxation in college and hostel rules.

“Our major demand is that this principal should be removed,” another student said.

The nursing college is managed by Upasana Charitable Society run by business tycoon Ravi Pillai.

The protest by the nursing students comes close on the heels of recent stir by students of Kerala Law Academy Law College in Thiruvananthapuram against Principal Lekshmi Nair alleging harassment and caste slur.

The college management was forced to remove her from the post as political parties and students’ outfits also joined the nearly month-long agitation extending support to the students.