In a shocking incident, several female candidates who appeared for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) at the Kannur centre on Sunday were made to remove their innerwear and jeans, before they were allowed to sit for the exams, reportedly due to a strict dress code in force.

A candidate was asked to take off her bras, while a few others were forced to remove their jeans. Another student complained that she was made to lift up her top and then frisked after the metal detector beeped due to pins and buttons.

"My daughter went inside the centre, only to return later and hand me her top innerwear," reports quoted a mother as saying.

Another candidate, who was wearing jeans, was told she wouldn't be allowed to sit for the test unless she removes a pocket as well as metal buttons from the clothing. Her father then had to travel 3 kms to find a pair of leggings for his daughter.

"She was wearing jeans. Since it had pockets and metal buttons, they needed to be removed. I went to a shop about 3 kms away from the exam centre and bought a new dress for her after getting the shop opened," he said.

A few families living in the vicinity helped some of the female candidates by giving them suitable clothes after they came to know about the ordeal.

Though no one was denied entry eventually it is debatable if some of the female candidates were able to write the exam properly after they were subjected to such humiliation.

Even some of the male candidates had a hard time as the authorities did not permit anyone to wear full-sleeved shirts or t-shirts. Those wearing long sleeves had to cut it short before they were allowed to sit for the exam.

The parents also alleged that the officials at the centre refused to register their complaints about the incident, while some others refused to talk about it as they did not want to "create a scene".

The NEET is conducted for admission to undergraduate medical courses in government and private medical colleges in the country. NEET 2017 was held in as many as 104 centres on Sunday, for which more than 11 lakh aspirants had registered.

(with inputs from agencies)