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Fathima Latheef suicide: Amid serious allegations, IIT-Madras deplores 'media trial'

Amid huge protest following first-year student Fathima Latheef's suicide, IIT-Madras has come out with an official statement saying the institute was committed to fair play. This comes following massive protests by the DMK and Congress demanding "a transparent" probe into the suicide.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk Chennai Updated on: November 15, 2019 17:42 IST
Fathima Latheef suicide: Protests demanding justice across

Fathima Latheef suicide: Protests demanding justice across Chennai.

Amid huge protest following first-year student Fathima Latheef's suicide, IIT-Madras has come out with an official statement saying the institute was committed to fair play. This comes following massive protests by the DMK and Congress demanding "a transparent" probe into the suicide. 

Fathima Latheef in an alleged note left on her phone had accused college authorities of pushing her to the point of no return. However on Friday, IIT Madras said it is extending full cooperation to the police investigation, transferred to the Central Crime Branch.

Asserting that it was committed to fair play, IIT Madras deplored social media trolling and rumours against it besides the "media trial" over the death of first year humanities student Fathima Latheef, who ended her life in the hostel on November 9.

Political parties have demanded a thorough probe after the family of the student, who hailed from Kerala, accused a faculty member of the IIT-M of driving her to commit suicide. A day after the probe into the suicide was transferred to the Central Crime Branch, police officials, visited the

campus in connection with the investigation.

India Tv - Fathima Latheef suicide: Protests demanding justice across Chennai.

Fathima Latheef suicide: Protests demanding justice across Chennai.

Cadres of the DMK youth wing, Congress affiliated National Students Union of India and CPI's student wing, All India Students Federation staged protest demonstrations in front of the institute seeking justice for Fathima Latheef.

DMK cadres held placards embossed with images of Fathima and slogans like "besiege IIT protest; seeking justice for Fathima Latheef."

Several others including women activists waved placards that alleged, "it is not a suicide, it is institutional murder."

Raising slogans condemning the Tamil Nadu and Central governments, they demanded justice for the student from them. The IIT Madras, in a statement, here said the students, faculty, staff, and residents were deeply saddened and
"extremely perturbed by the unfortunate and untimely demise of
our student, Fathima Lathief, and the events that unfolded thereafter."

As soon as the incident came to its knowledge, police was informed immediately and they were being extended full cooperation, the prestigious institution said.

"IIT Madras is committed to do whatever is required as per law and ensure fair-play." 

However, the social media trolling against it, the faculty members and students and "trial by the media, even before the conclusion of the police investigation, is gravely demoralising..." it said.

Also, it "tarnished the reputation," of one of the finest institutes in the country. Asserting that its faculty is known for high quality, integrity and fairness, IIT Madras said: "We reiterate that we are fully cooperating with the police investigation... our humble appeal to all concerned is not to initiate or spread any rumours about the institute" and let the inquiry be
completed. 

The institute said it continued to mourn the loss of the promising young student and assured continuation of all efforts to ensure the physical and mental well-being of its students, faculty and staff.

A possee of police personnel was deployed in front of the main entrance of the IIT Madras in view of the protests. The institute also increased the number of private security guards.

Stalin had on Thursday demanded a transparent and independent probe into the episode. PMK chief S Ramadoss had sought investigation into allegation of harassment by the faculty. VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan had said the incident should not be seen as suicide but "institutional murder."

(With PTI inputs)

ALSO READ | IIT-Madras Suicide: Fathima Latheef's parents to meet Tamil Nadu CM

ALSO READ | I would miss my home so much: IIT Madras student Fathima Latheef wrote before suicide

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