Students seek justice for Fathima Latheef, Kerala Muslim girl who killed herself after alleged religious discrimination in IIT Madras


ians, 15-11-2019 17:47:48


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Students seek justice for Fathima Latheef, Kerala Muslim girl who killed herself after alleged religious discrimination in IIT Madras

A note in her mobile phone had mentioned some faculty names as the cause of her death

Fathima Lateef hailed from Kollam district of Kerala.

A first year student of IIT Madras, she was found hanging from the ceiling fan in her hostel room on November 9.

Fathima’s case is the fifth suicide at IIT Madras in the last one year

New Delhi: Several students of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, on Friday staged a protest demanding justice for Fathima Latheef, a student of the same institute, who was found hanging from the ceiling fan in her hostel room on November 9.

While no suicide note was found, a note in her mobile phone had mentioned some faculty names as the cause of her death.

In the protest led by the Students Federation of India (SFI), students raised slogans calling for the arrest of the professors named in her suicide note, the protestors also demanded swift action by the police.

On Tuesday, Abdul Latheef, the father of the student, held a press conference and sought a fair probe, expressing concerns over the alleged influence of the IIT authorities.

Abdul Latheef alleged that Fathima was being harassed because she was a Muslim and said the family wanted authorities to “probe the case from this angle”.

Fathima Latheef was a first-year Master’s student of Humanities and Development Studies (Integrated Course) at IIT Madras.

Fathima Lateef hailed from Kollam district of Kerala and was staying at the Sarayu hostel on the campus.

Fathima’s case is the fifth suicide at IIT-M in the last one year.

Stalin demands time-bound, transparent probe

DMK President MK Stalin on Thursday expressed shock over the suicide of IIT student and demanded time-bound, honest, independent and transparent probe in the matter.

"It is extremely shocking that Fathima had committed suicide due to discrimination. Allegations of Fatima’s mother has cast a cloud on the secular credentials of Tamil Nadu. This is a worrying trend. This is a shame," the DMK leader said in a statement while adding that it is time we avoid saffronisation of educational institutions.

Case transferred to Crime Branch

The Chennai Police Commissioner on Thursday transferred the suicide case to the Central Crime Branch for further investigation.

A student of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, committed suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan in her hostel room on Friday, the police had said.

Fatima Latif, a native of Kerala, was pursuing an integrated MA programme at the institute, the police said.

Religious bias led to Fathima’s death: MMK leader

Manitheneya Makkal Katchi (MMK) leader M.H. Jawahirullah demanded a probe by Crime Branch Crime Investigation Department (CBCID) into the suicide of Fathima Latheef, a bright first year student of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M).

While no suicide note was found, a note in her mobile phone had mentioned some faculty names as the cause of her death.

In a statement issued here, Jawahirullah said that he had spoken to Abdul Latheef, the girl’s father, who alleged that his daughter was subjected to religious discrimination by a faculty member.

According to Jawahirullah, Fathima’s father had told him that once the professor had given his daughter three marks less and the same was corrected after it was brought to the notice of the head of the department.

The MMK leader demanded a probe by the CBCID into the suicides by the students in IITM.

"The girl’s father had told me that there was religious discrimination," Jawahirullah told IANS.

Hailing from Kollam in Kerala, Fathima was a bright student.

Her father has given a memorandum to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, requesting Kerala government’s intervention in the probe into his daughter’s death.

An official of IIT-M’s Humanities and Social Sciences department said the head of the department was not available for comments.

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