NEET frisking: NTA sets up probe panel as NCPCR & NCW take up case

NEW DELHI: The National Testing Agency (NTA) on Tuesday set up a fact-finding committee to inquire into the alleged complaint of a NEET-UG aspirant being asked to remove her innerwear during frisking at the centre in Kerala for the exam held on Sunday.
The NTA’s decision came after both the National Commission for Women and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) took a serious view of the allegations and sought a thorough probe. The NCW also wrote to Kerala DGP to probe the charges. Members of the NTA penel will visit Kollam. Earlier, the NCW wrote to NTA to set up a panel for a time-bound probe.
The complainant, who took the test at the Marthoma Institute of Information and Technology in Ayur, Kollam, alleged that students at the centre were forced to remove their innerwear, even though the dress code set by NTA does not mention any such requirement. Accusing the frisking staff of “rude behaviour”, the complainant said, “The mental state of these students was disturbed and they could not appear at the exam with confidence. Their under garments were put together in a storage room disregarding the Covid situation.”
In a statement on Monday night, NTA had said, “On the receipt of the report, immediate comments of the centre superintendent and the independent observer, as well as the Kollam city coordinator were obtained. All three of them have stated that they did not find any such incident having occurred at the centre.”
In a statement, the education ministry said it had asked NTA to conduct a probe after minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan, some public representatives from Kerala met education minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
On Monday, the NTA observer for the centre blamed a police officer related to the girl student for concocting the charge as he was angry with the centre superintendent for not letting one of the parents of the candidate rest on the college campus during the exam.
In a report to NTA, the observer stated: “The centre superintendent told me they had seen metal button on the shoulder of a girl during frisking. When I asked the girl about it, she didn’t tell me anything and went to the examination hall. Other than that, I did not notice any other problem.”
Calling the allegations “fictitious” and “motivated”, the centre superintendent said officials were vigilant during the entire process and “no such incident had taken place”.

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