How dress diktat on girl students make us 'Taliban-like'

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New Delhi, Dec 10: Women groups have expressed anger over dress code forced upon girl students in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. In a college in Bhiwani, Haryana, girls have been barred from wearing jeans. And if anyone is found violating the dress code, the student has to pay a fine of Rs 100. Moreover, in Uttar Pradesh, the district magistrate of Bijnor gave an order under which girls should not wear jeans or black colour clothes or even jewellery.

The dress code in the two north-Indian states have angered women organisations. "This is unbelievable. How can such diktats be passed in modern day society?" asked a women rights member in Bangalore.

"We are living in a free and democratic world. India is not ruled by Taliban. And, we protest such ban on women," the member added.

In Adarsh Women College, Bhiwani, four girls were imposed a fine of Rs 100 each as they attended classes wearing jeans and T-shirt. The incident happened on Friday, Dec 7.

The college authorities told mediapersons that "the girls were fined for violating the dress code, which has been there ever since college came into existence in 1970."

"The college management has implemented a dress code for students and staff. The girls must wear white salwar kameez on every Monday and any colour salwar kameez rest of the days. The women staff must come dressed in saris, while formal trousers and shirt is the dress code for the male staff. With the changing time, we have allowed the girls to wear jeans paired with long kurta, but these girls were wearing T-shirts," said College principal Alka Sharma.

The college has also banned the use of mobile phones. The National Commission for Women (NCW) has slammed the diktat and demanded action against the principal. "Such diktats are uncalled for and bizarre. The government must take action against such institutes," NCW Chairperson Mamata Sharma said.

The district magistrate order in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh, has invited protests from some Muslim leaders who contended that girls from the community would be wearing burqas at the function.

The Uttar Pradesh order was later withdrawn with the district magistrate Sarika Mohan pleading that it had been misinterpreted. "We have not decided any dress code. We told them to wear simple and sober dress, there is no such ban. When I had briefed some officials, they had suggested me this (on black Burqa). Some people have misinterpreted it and made it an issue," she said.

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