A day after 17-year-old S Anitha committed suicide at her residence in Ariyalur district, near Trichy in Tamil Nadu, protests erupted in Chennai, demanding justice for her. Students from Left parties took to the streets of Mount Road to protest her death, reported news agency ANI. Some of the protesters were detained by the police. Anitha, who had petitioned the Supreme Court against its order to Tamil Nadu to follow the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions to medical courses, took the extreme step out of helplessness.
Members of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and the Revolutionary Students and Youth Front (RSYF) participated in the protest on Saturday. Anitha had secured 1,176 marks out of 1,200 in her Class XII examination, and 199.75 out of 200 for engineering and 196.75 for medicine. Her marks would have guaranteed her a seat in either stream without NEET. However, she had managed to score only 86 per cent in the NEET.
“Anitha managed to study in difficult circumstances. She was concerned about NEET. What wrong had she done, who will answer?”Anitha’s father T Shanmugham, a daily-wage labourers at the Gandhi Market in Trichy, was quoted as saying by ANI on Saturday. Anitha had rejected admission to an aeronautical engineering course at the Madras Institute of Technology to follow her dream of becoming a doctor.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami on Thursday announced a compensation of Rs 7 lakh to Anitha’s family. AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran, taking to Twitter, expressed shock and distress to hear of Anitha’s death. Leader of Opposition and DMK Working President MK Stalin on Thursday too expressed concern, calling the government “inept”.
(With inputs from agencies)