KOLLAM: Days after Fathima Latheef, a first-year student of IIT-Madras, committed suicide in the hostel room, her parents have alleged that humiliation and caste discrimination by a faculty member had forced their daughter to take the extreme step.
Alleging that the Tamil Nadu police have been taking the incident lightly, the parents on Tuesday approached Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking support for a fair probe into the circumstances leading to the student’s death. The chief minister assured them that he would take up the matter with his Tamil Nadu counterpart, said Fathima’s father Abdul Latheef.
Fathima, pursuing her first-year undergraduate course in the humanities stream, committed suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan in her hostel room on Saturday.
“We were assured by the CM that the matter would be taken up with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami as a state’s issue,” said Latheef in a press meet held in Kollam. The family has pointed out that they have received a suicide note from Fathima’s phone in which she has mentioned a faculty member’s name, stating that he was the cause of her death.
"After reading the message and browsing her phone further, we were able to gather the information that my daughter was under constant harassment by one of her professors, who has hurt her dignity and it is the sole reason for her untimely death," said Latheef.
Not aware of charges: Cops
CHENNAI: When contacted by TNIE, a senior Chennai police officer, who is supervising the investigation in the case, said they are not aware of the allegations made by the student’s parents.
Police response on social media forwards
When questioned about the images being circulated in social media claiming that they were 'suicide note' written by Fathima, a senior police officer said no one has access to her phone, indicating the "suicide note" could be fake. They said only on Thursday when Fathima's parents will reach Chennai, the police will be opened and checked for its contents. A forensic test will also be conducted.