Dozens of female factory workers in Kochi, India, were reportedly strip-searched earlier this month, as part of a humiliating "investigation" by their bosses after they found a used sanitary napkin in the factory bathroom.
Huffington Post India andIndia Express are both reporting that the incident occurred at the Asma Rubber Private Limited factory on December 10, a facility that makes latex and surgical gloves. A female supervisor reportedly discovered the sanitary napkin in a factory restroom and demanded to know who had left it there; when she didn't get an answer, she told all the female employees under 50 to strip, so she could determine who was menstruating. Around 45 women were allegedly forced to disrobe.
Local police told India Express that supervisor and another woman will be charged with "outraging the modesty of women," a crime which carries a maximum prison sentence of two years.
Binu Matthew, a factory supervisor at Asma Rubber, denied the incident had occurred to HuffPost India, telling reporter Indrani Basu, "We have checked the video footage of that day and nothing seems to be amiss." Matthew alleges the whole thing was just a plot to get the supervisors fired.
Asma Rubber Private Limited factory; image via Facebook