IIT-M student suicide case transferred to CBI

IIT-M student suicide case transferred to CBI

DH Photo

More than a month after the suicide of an IIT-M student from Kerala shook the nation, the Tamil Nadu government has transferred the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) citing a directive from the Union Government.

Fathima Latheef, a first-year student of M.A. (Humanities) integrated course, was found hanging in her hostel room at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras campus here on November 8. The 19-year-old student had left a suicide note pinning the blame on one of her professors with her distraught parents alleging “religious discrimination” as the reason for their daughter’s death.

“Yes. The case has been transferred to CBI,” Chennai Police Commissioner told A K Viswanathan told DH. Police sources said the order transferring the case to the CBI from Chennai Police’s Central Crime Branch was issued on Saturday.

“The order also referred to a letter from the Union Ministry recommending that the case be investigated by the CBI,” the sources said. However, the girls’ father Abdul Latheef told DH from Kozhikode that he was yet to receive any communication from authorities regarding the transfer of the case.

“No one has contacted me. I got hear the news only from TV channels,” Abdul Latheef said.

Though no suicide note was recovered from her room, the young girl, who hailed from Kozhikode, had saved a few notes on her mobile phone which blamed Sudarshan Padmanabhan, a professor with the Humanities Department for her suicide.

The transfer of the case comes a fortnight after Abdul Latheef met Union Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi and sought a CBI probe into his daughter’s suicide. After the meeting, Abdul Latheef had told reporters that Shah was inclined towards ordering a CBI probe into the incident.

The girl’s family had mounted intense pressure on the Tamil Nadu government too by meeting Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami seeking a detailed inquiry into the incident. After the uproar, the case was transferred to the CCB.

Fathima’s death also brought students from IIT-M and elsewhere onto the streets demanding strict action against those who abetted the suicide. Two IIT-M students also went on an indefinite fast demanding speedy action against those responsible and measures to prevent suicides in the future.

Abdul Latheef had been maintaining that Sudarshan Padmanabhan was the reason for his daughter’s death. “This professor has harassed my daughter and she was always scared of him. There is enough proof to say that my daughter feared the professor,” Latheef had said.

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