A group of students in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras issued a statement Thursday saying that they “stand with the family of Fathima Latheef and urge the IIT Madras authorities and Tamil Nadu police for fair, unbiased and thorough investigation without delay.”
Fathima Latheef, a first year student of MA, humanities and development studies (integrated), who came from Kollam, Kerala, was found hanging in her hostel room at IIT-Madras on Saturday morning.
The parents of 19-year-old Fathima Latheef, have alleged that their daughter took the extreme step after being mentally harassed by her teachers. The parents have also claimed that they had subject their daughter to religious persecution.
IIT Madras Students also held a protest rally on campus to demand an investigation into the suicide on Thursday.
“Her presence as a bright young scholar was valued and this comes as a painful loss to the student community of HSS. We stand in solidarity with the family’s demand for justice,” students said in a signed statement.
Students demand the MHRD and Minority commission to set up an independent enquiry into possibilities of academic harassment, religious, caste or ethnicity based discrimination in the campus.
They also demanded an enquiry into recurring cases of suicides in the campus with a sense of immediacy.
The collegues of Fathima Latheef demand for implementation of a functional SC/ST/ OBC/ Minority Students’ grievance and welfare cell at IIT Madras
“We also urge IITM to set up a grievance redressal committee with representation of students to address issues of academic harassment and also a full-time appointment of gender-sensitive psychiatrists and strengthening of 24×7 mental health supports within the campus,” students said.
They also wrote that they wanted the Rohith Act to be enacted to address and prevent student suicides in Indian universities.