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Fathima Latif death: Social media trolling demoralising, will cooperate in probe, says IIT Madras

IIT-Madras said they will continue to make all efforts to ensure the physical and mental well-being of its students.

Written by Express Web Desk |
Updated: November 15, 2019 6:40:08 pm
Fathima Latheef, Fathima Latheef murder, Fathima Latheef suicide, Fathima Latheef death, IIT, IIT student death, IIT student suicide, Chennai student death, Chennai Police, Kerala student death, MK Stalin, Tamil Nadu, Indian Express News, Chennai News Fathima Latif was found hanging in her hostel room at IIT-Madras on Saturday morning.

Five days after the alleged suicide of IIT-Madras student Fathima Latif, the institute has issued a statement, saying it is ‘committed to do whatever is required as per law and ensure fair-play”. Nineteen-year-old Latif, a student of MA, humanities and development studies (integrated), was found hanging in her hostel room on Saturday morning. The Kottupuram police has registered an FIR under section 174 of CrPC (Police to inquire and report on suicide, etc).

Her death triggered a controversy after her father Abdul Latif claimed there was a mystery behind his daughter’s death. “Her note names a professor and says that he [name withheld] is the cause of my death,” Latif told The Indian Express. The note was purportedly in her cellphone.

In the press statement, IIT Madras said, “The social media trolling of the institute, faculty members and students and trial by the media is gravely demoralizing the students, faculty members and staff as well as their families, and tarnishing the reputation of one of the finest institutes in the country.”

Earlier, close to 200 students protested inside the campus seeking full co-operation of the management over Fathima’s death. The Students Legislative Council pressed the management to implement the resolution of appointing a body of experts to study the mental well-being of the students in the institution.

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The Students Federation of India (SFI) protested outside the IIT campus demanding a fair probe into the Fathima Latif’s death. AK Viswanathan, the city commissioner of police visited the campus on Thursday and said he has made inquiries with several people and the truth will be uncovered soon. “Since this is a sensitive case, we thought it would be better if senior police officers probe it. We have shifted this case to Central Crime Branch. A special committee has been constituted, it will be headed by C Eswaramoorthy, Additional Commissioner, CCB, and former Assistant Commissioner, CBI, Prabhakaran. Megalina, the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Crime against Women and Children, will be acting as the Chief Investigating Officer,” he said.

According to the reports, the parents of student Fathima will be meeting the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Edappadi K Palanisamy today urging him to initiate a fair probe into their daughter’s death.  They had earlier met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

DMK leader MK Stalin on Thursday demanded a fair, transparent and independent probe into the matter and said ‘Saffronization of Govt-run institutions should be checked immediately.’

“Controversies are nothing new to IIT. Though it is located in the capital city of Tamil Nadu, it is functioning as if it is placed in some mystery island. Higher education centers like IIT should document that they treat everyone equally, like the Tricolor in our national flag,” he said.

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