Sunday, December 3, 2023

‘Sudarsan Padmanabhan is the cause of my death,’ says suicide note of girl found dead at IIT hostel

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Sudarsan Padmanabhan, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dept of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras

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.

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Aslah Kayyalakkath
Aslah Kayyalakkath
Aslah Kayyalakkath is a Founding Editor of Maktoob. He tweets @aslahtweets


  1. Funny.Nowadays professors are becoming criminals.This is atrocious.He is spelling Abdul kalam name and is mere waste to the society.

    • Sudersan Padmanabhan, the devil who abetted suicide of Fatima should be punished for life. His eyes should be taken off and hands and legs cut as per Dubai rules and he should be left in a street with a board “A cruel person” on his neck

  2. To Anonymous:
    Yeah, we should wait for the law to take actions in about 12-20 years! If the law of the land is strict, people start to obey. Once let loose, these people become animals. You’ve to take strict actions and take it fast. Employees in Indian government institutes become egotistic in no time having no fear of getting fired over inappropriate actions. If one wants to misuse his/her power, it’s damn easy. Indian lengthy judicial proceedings even protects them.

    To Anonymous-1:
    It’s very much clear that you’re defending the prof. Maybe, you’re the prof under this Anonymous-1 tag! The students are indeed mature, but they don’t practice being treated unfairly based on cast or religion. India is the biggest democracy in the world! It’s not a place to breed hatred based on religion, especially in the most premier institutes of the country. It’s a disgrace to the institute, to the society and to the country. A student who has performed the best previously, doesn’t necessary perform poor within 6 months. There must have been distractions and psychological pressure over her. She ended her life under this tremendous pressure and rejections from those whom she took as fair and just. It’s a flaw in the system. Unfortunately, the price for this unfair state is ‘lives’ of many innocents or unending sufferings. Shameful!


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