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Probe into IIT Madras Student's Suicide Transferred to Central Crime Branch after Family Alleges Foul Play

The opposition DMK took this opportunity to speak out against the saffronisation of educational institutes, with party chief MK Stalin saying that allegations by the family have cast a cloud of doubt on the secular credentials of Tamil Nadu.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:November 14, 2019, 4:25 PM IST
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Probe into IIT Madras Student's Suicide Transferred to Central Crime Branch after Family Alleges Foul Play
Representative image.

Chennai: Five days after Fathima Latif, a first-year MA student from IIT Madras, committed suicide, the case was transferred to the Central Crime Branch on Thursday after her family alleged that a faculty member was responsible for the death.

Chennai Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan said, “I visited the spot and examined several people to find out the truth. The case has been transferred to the Central Crime Branch for investigation and a team will be formed, which will be headed by Additional Commissioner of Police, Easwaramoorthy, and comprise a few senior officers to give better focus and attention considering the sensitivity of the case. The Additional Deputy Commissioner for crime against women and children unit will be the investigating officer in this case."

The family had claimed that the police did not begin their probe even a day after her death, adding that Fathima's mobile had a suicide note in which she has blamed a professor for her death. The note was found by Fathima's sister when she went to the police station a day after her death.

Twenty-five people, including three professors, have been questioned so far and the police have moved court to seek permission to send Fathima's mobile to the cyber crime team to examine the suicide note.

"Several allegations have been made and so we have formed a team comprising competent officers, who will completely focus on this matter. We have to investigate and find out if a note exists. At this stage, we cannot reveal the details of the probe. The special team will conduct the investigation and whoever is at fault will be dealt with. We will unravel the truth at any cost and there will be no let up,” Viswanathan said.

Demanding justice for Fathima, several protests were held outside IIT Madras campus on Wednesday evening. More than 20 students belonging to the Students Federation of India (SFI) agitated, demanding a fair probe into Fathima’s death and the arrest of the professor named in the suicide note.

The opposition DMK took this opportunity to speak out against the saffronisation of educational institutes, with party chief MK Stalin saying, “Allegations by Fathima's mother have cast a cloud on the secular credentials of Tamil Nadu. It's extremely shocking that Fathima committed suicide due to discrimination. This is a worrying trend. Steps must be taken to ensure that institutions like the IIT treat everyone as equal and avoid getting saffronised.”

Tamil Nadu Youth Congress also staged a protest and said institutions such as the IIT should not get communalised.

Meanwhile, Fathima's family has sought an appointment with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and will reach Chennai on Friday.

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