IIT-M girl suicide: Two students end indefinite fast

IIT-M girl suicide: Two students end indefinite fast

Two students of the IIT Madras, Azhar Moideen and Justin Joseph launched an indefinite hunger strike demanding a fair probe in the alleged suicide case of 19-year-old student Fatima Latheef, in Chennai. (PTI Photo)

Two students of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-M) on Tuesday withdrew their hunger strike after the management agreed to implement two of their three demands pertaining to the constitution of complaints and redressal system.

The students launched their hunger strike on Monday demanding the constitution of a probe committee to go into the suicide of 19-year-old Humanities student Fathima Latheef and two other demands. The students called off their protest after the management wrote a mail promising to fulfill their demands.

The move by students came even as a Special Team of the Chennai Police’s Central Crime Branch (CCB) is set to travel to Kerala to question the parents and friends of Fathima Lateef. Sources said the special team would interrogate Fathima’s parents and friends who stayed with her in the IIT-M campus – they are currently in Kerala since the department closed down after the suicide on November 8.

Read: Father of student who committed suicide seeks justice

Already, the CCB has questioned three professors of the IIT-M who were allegedly named by Fathima in her suicide note. Fathima’s father Abdul Latheef had last week alleged that his daughter had named Sudarshan Padmanabhan, a professor with the Humanities department, as responsible for her suicide.

Also read: IIT student suicide: Case transferred to Crime Branch

Azhar Moideen, a final year humanities student, and Justin Joseph called off their hunger strike on Tuesday morning. Azhar Moideen said the IIT-M has agreed to set up an external expert survey on mental well-being and Grievance Redressal Cell in each Department.

The demand relating to the constitution of a committee to probe into the conduct of the faculty was not accepted immediately as the Director of the institute was out of Chennai. “We are calling off the fast because the Dean of Students has sent out a mail accepting our demands for setting up complaints and redressal system in every department,” Azhar Moideen said.

Fatima Lateef, a first-year student of the MA integrated programme in the Humanities department, was found dead in her hostel room on November 8. Though no suicide note was recovered from her room, the young girl’s parents have alleged harassment by some professors in the department as the cause for their daughter’s suicide.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox