India: 'Dress code' row reveals student 'going out ban'

Female students at one of India's oldest universities are banned from visiting cinemas or restaurants, it's emerged.

It came as Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) withdrew a circular ordering students to wear "decent clothes", after reports suggested it had outlawed jeans and T-shirts. National daily Indian Express was among those reporting that one hall of residence had issued a diktat saying young women must wear traditional dress like salwar kameez - pyjama-style trousers with a long tunic - or face a 500-rupee (£5.50) fine. It quoted hall provost Ghazala Parveen as saying: "They should be properly and decently dressed... if any indecent incident happens, I will not be held responsible."

The Press Trust of India says AMU's hierarchy withdrew the circular, quoting pro-Vice Chancellor Brig S Ahmad Ali as saying there'd been no intention to impose a dress code: "All that we have sought is that students including girls should be in a decent attire which reflects the ethos of our society." A university spokesman told the Times of India that existing restrictions on eating out and visiting cinemas remain in place, however. Delhi-based NDTV quoted one teacher as saying the suggestion that boys would be distracted if girls go out was "reprehensible".

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