A first information report was filed against a principal of a government college in Mumbai for allegedly making casteist remarks at students, The Indian Express reported on Thursday.
Urmila Paralikar, who heads the Government of Maharashtra Secondary Training College, was booked under Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code and under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 on Wednesday, according to Mid-Day.
The complainant alleged that Paralikar made caste-based derogatory remarks at her and other students who are from the reserved category.
“Noticing my speech and way of writing, Paralikar madam asked me about my native place and then asked if I am an Adivasi,” the woman said in her complaint, according to The Indian Express. “She also asked if this is how teachers in schools in my village speak and if I will be teaching my students in tribal language too.”
Another student alleged that Paralikar made remarks about the appearance of students.
“The teacher [Paralikar] has been commenting on the way we dress by questioning our intention behind not wearing a dupatta,” she said, according to the newspaper. “She asks if we want to attract the attention of boys by doing so. She has also asked us to change our uniform from a regular salwar or leggings to denim jeans because apparently the former highlights the lower half of our body.”
Senior Police Inspector Bhushan Belnekar said no arrests have been made in the case.
“We are in the process of taking statements and conducting the investigation,” he said, according to The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, Paralikar refuted the charges against her.
“The allegations are false,” she told Mid-Day. “The college director also conducted an inquiry into this matter and I gave my statement. I never thought of doing such a thing.”
The FIR was lodged after several students wrote to COPS Students Organisation and the National Students Union of India about the principal.
Amar Ekad, President of the COPS Students Organisation, said that Paralikar was earlier sacked as the the principal as part of a disciplinary action by former Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant.
“This was in the month of February, after several staff members had submitted a written complaint to him about mental harassment by her,” Ekad said. “And yet she has been given the principal’s charge again just after three months.”