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NEET Petitioner Anitha's Suicide Sparks Protests in Chennai

S Anitha, the 17-year-old Dalit girl who was the face of the fight against NEET, took her life on Friday, a week after Supreme Court ruled that medical college admissions in Tamil Nadu will be based on the test.


Updated:September 2, 2017, 2:07 PM IST
NEET Petitioner Anitha's Suicide Sparks Protests in Chennai
File photo of CPM workers protesting the death of 17-year-old NEET petitioner Anitha. (News18)

Chennai: Protests were held across Chennai on Saturday by many groups, including the CPI(M) and its student wing SFI, a day after the suicide of 17-year-old S Anitha who led the battle against NEET in the Supreme Court.

More than 200 CPI(M) workers blocked a portion of Chennai's Mount Road for half-an-hour. They were later detained by the police. The VCK, Naam Tamilar Katchi and other fringe groups also paid tributes to Anitha and staged demonstrations demanding the scrapping of the common medical college entrance test NEET.

The protestors blamed both the state and the central government for Anitha's death. "There is no system in place. If the state government does not act, then we will continue to protest as there are many more Anithas whose lives have been shattered," said a protester.

Tamil superstars Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan have expressed grief over the incident. "We must protest for Anitha’s justice without considering caste, creed or even state borders. The girl had many dreams but now she has been killed and buried. Those who claimed that good news was coming soon have disappeared, so has the girl. Politicians should forget party rivalries and rise against this,” said Kamal Haasan.

"Is there anything viler than this? I don't care about the girl's hometown or caste. She is my daughter. We have missed a good would-be doctor. We formed the government instead of arguing in the court, we are bargaining. Only if such incidents will teach them a lesson. People must fight for her," added Haasan.

“What has happened to Anitha is extremely unfortunate. My heart goes out to all the pain and agony she would have undergone before taking this drastic step. My condolences to her family" tweeted Rajinikanth with #RipAnitha.

Anitha, the 17-year-old Dalit girl who was the face of the fight against NEET, took her life on Friday just over a week after Supreme Court ruled that medical college admissions in Tamil Nadu will be based on the national admission test.

The SC directive came as a huge setback for thousands of students who had hoped for a positive response, including Anitha. Daughter of a daily wage labourer, she had failed to secure herself a seat in medical course leaving her disappointed. Anitha, who was one of the respondents against the plea in the Supreme Court, committed suicide at her residence in Ariyalur district in Tamil Nadu.

Anitha had secured 1176 out of 1200 in her board examination, but she secured just 86 out of 700 in NEET which is why she didn't get an admission in a medical college. After scoring a high cut-off of 199.75 for engineering and 196.75 for medicine, she was offered a seat in aeronautical engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology. The young girl also secured a place for Bachelor of Veterinary Science in Veterinary College at Orathanadu. Anitha, however, wanted to do something else. “I want to be a doctor,” she’d been reported as saying.

Coming from a poor family, Anitha moved the Supreme Court seeking a stay on MBBS admissions in state-run medical hospitals based on NEET scores. In her petition, she said NEET implementation will destroy the ambitions of many students from rural Tamil Nadu.

| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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