A school principal in Karnataka's Mandya district has been suspended for strip-searching 12 girls in a classroom after one of their classmates lost Rs 100.

The incident led to a major protest in Mandya, which happens to be the hometown of two former Karnataka chief ministers, BS Yeddyurappa and SM Krishna.

According to the Bangalore Mirror, the incident took place on 31 August, when one of the 29 students of the class found that her money was missing. The girl told her classmates that she had lost Rs 100 and asked them about it.

The student then complained to the principal. Headmistress Jayalakshmamma then went to the class and asked the students to return the money.

When no girl owned up, the principal asked the students to close the doors and windows. She then began to frisk the girls individually, but failed to recover the money. Jayalakshmamma then ordered the students to strip.

When the students resisted the prinsipal's order, she threatened them of dire consequences, the daily reported.

Finally, 12 students were made to take off all their clothes. However, the money was not found even then, following which the principal asked the students to dress back and go home.

Humiliated by the incident, the students told their parents about their ordeal. The angry parents then stormed the school and demanded action against the principal.

The Karnataka education department has since suspended the headmistress and asked the women and child welfare department to conduct an inquiry.