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N K Premachandran: ‘Probe into Fathima Latheef’s death not being properly done’

RSP leader N K Premachandran on the Opposition’s walkout over the suicide of IIT Madras student Fathima Latheef.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi |
November 19, 2019 9:00:14 am
N K Premachandran: 'Probe into Fathima Latheef's death not being properly done' RSP leader N K Premachandran (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

RSP leader N K Premachandran speaks to The Indian Express on the Opposition’s walkout over the suicide of IIT Madras student Fathima Latheef.

You raised the suicide of a student in IIT Madras which led to a walkout by the Opposition.

Fathima Latheef, a first year PG student in IIT Madras, was found dead in the women’s hostel on November 9. Her parents have alleged that she was harassed. They even alleged religious discrimination on the campus. A note on her phone indicated that a professor was responsible for her death. She has mentioned harassment by other professors too.

But the state police is looking into the case. Why did you raise the issue in Parliament?

The girl belongs to my constituency. The inquiry conducted by the state Crime Branch is unsatisfactory. The post-mortem was done in a hurry and it was not videographed. The investigation is not being properly done. Now IIT authorities have complained to police that her parents are trying to tarnish IIT’s image. This is highly insensitive. They are trying to protect those who are accused of harassing the girl.

Why did the Opposition stage a walkout over this issue?

The minister concerned was so insensitive in responding to the issue. He simply said the Higher Education secretary visited the place and an investigation is on. A high-level probe is required. We want a CBI enquiry. We will take up this issue with the PM too.

DMK MP M Kanimozhi said there have been several deaths in India’s elite education institutions in the recent past. What is the Opposition implying?

Five people died in mysterious circumstance in IIT Madras alone. The minister was insensitive. There is an allegation by the family of religious discrimination in the institute. So we want the government to conduct a fair and thorough investigation.

There have been a number of protests by students across the country. Do you think the government is handling them properly?

Not at all. There are the JNU protests… But the government is not serious in investigating and finding a solution…

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