‘Casteist remarks’: Nursing students lodge FIR against principal in Odisha
Subhadra Murmu, an Adivasi nursing student, was held by her hair and slapped twice by her principal on May 7 at SCB medical college, one of the biggest medical colleges in odisha, for not bearing her head scarf. The principal allegedly told her: “You, adivasis, are illiterate and have no manners. You deserve to be ill treated. You survive on our dole outs.”
Since then, around 100 dalit and adivasis nursing students have been protesting against the principal demanding her suspension . The administration, however, responded by declaring “sine die” on the campus, forcing all the protestors to vacate their hostels on May 13.
The students of Cuttack’s SCB Medical College and Hospital lodged the case at Mangalabag police station a day after they went on strike, alleging that principal Kajal Rani Sinha had hurled casteist remarks at fourth-year tribal student Subhadra Murmu.
In her complaint, Murmu has said: “On Saturday, I rushed to register my attendance at 2 pm even though I had not finished my lunch. In the rush, I could not tie my hair properly. The principal madam then pulled my hair and slapped me twice”. Other students alleged that even if they are late by a minute for duty, the principal marks them absent and deducts their stipend.
The students said they had met the college superintendent and sought action against the principal. “But, the superintendent advised us to keep the issue under wraps. Left with no choice, we filed an FIR,” said a student.