The National Commission for Women (NCW) on January 13 sent a notice to Dharmapuram Adhinam Arts College in Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam district for expelling four women students for consuming alcohol along with their male friends during a birthday party at one of their houses.
The notice was sent based on a complaint filed by All India Private Colleges Employees Union (AIPCEU). The party took place in November 2019, while their expulsion came into effect on January 2, after the video of the girls, three of them in the college uniforms that went viral and caught the attention of the college management on December 24.
In the letter to the Commission, KM Karthik, founder of AIPCEU and the complainant, said that the college expelled three girl students without prior warning, and without resorting to corrective measures and alternate punishments appropriate to the actions of the students. Following the expulsion, AIPCEU chief KM Karthik sent a letter to the college, and the university that the college is affiliated to that public shaming, moral policing, character assassination of young girls cannot be done in the name of punishment for beer consumption.
According to reports, Karthik urged the college to engage in proportional and lawful punishment only. When the college failed to respond, Karthik wrote to the NCW. The Principal of the college acknowledged the receipt of the notice but maintained that the punishment was fair. He further said that Karthik's letter made it seem like it was "okay for women to consume alcohol".
Three girls were seen in their college uniforms while the fourth girl was in a casual outfit. Two male friends were also present at the said party. After the video was leaked on social media and went viral, many started questioning the morality of the women. Meanwhile, the college is said to have come under a lot of pressure to take action.
In December, the college administration decided to conduct an inquiry with the girls and their parents and take necessary disciplinary action. According to the circular issued by the college, the four students were expelled for “behaving in a manner that would bring disrepute to college”.
(with inputs from agencies)