The parents of 19-year-old Fathima Lathief, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Madras) student who committed suicide on Saturday, have alleged that their daughter took the extreme step after being mentally harassed by her faculty member, Sudarsan Padmanabhan.
“Sudarshan Padmanabhan is the cause of my death,” Fathima Latheef wrote in a suicide note.
Sudarsan Padmanabhan is currently working as an associate professor of Philosophy, Dept of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Madras.
Kollam native Fathima Latheef was a first-year student in the institute’s same department. Fathima was a bright student who secured admission emerging first in an entrance test conducted by the centre last year.
Her twin sister Aisha Latheef filed a complaint regarding this with a local police station in Kotturpuram there.
“She had mentioned that she was facing torture from the part of her teachers,” based on their earlier talks with Fathima the family informed.
Her parents met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today. In the meeting, the family demanded an independent and immediate probe into the case.
After the meeting, Abdul Latheef told media that they were satisfied with the interaction. “CM has assured all support to us. CM said that the Kerala government will take this very seriously,” he told 24News.
“They were disgusted to see a muslim name topping every test”Abdul Latheef, Father of Fathima
“I will fight against the culprits. My children must get justice,” her father said.
Her family has blamed the death on casteist and religious discrimination by her faculties.
Fathima’s family has alleged that the faculties taunted her for belonging to the Muslim community.
” My daughter faced casteist and religious discrimination from her faculties. Earlier she said that her name (Muslim name) itself is a problem there”, Abdul Latheef told MediaOne TV today.
“There is some mystery related to the incident. The police have recovered a suicide note from Fathima’s room and in the note, she had blamed some teachers and students for torture and harassment,” said the Kollam Mayor V Rajendrababu.
The body of the 19-year-old student was found hanging from the ceiling fan of her hostel room. Although investigations are currently underway, the police suspect Fathima committed suicide as she was depressed over scoring low marks in her internal examination.
Mayor, who’s also a family friend of the student, along with her family members went to Chennai to receive her body. The body of the girl which reached Nedumbasseri was brought to Kollam on Sunday around 1 am. The burial was held at Kilikolloor Valiya Pally jamaat burial ground around 9 am.