Chennai: The Chennai city police transferred the suicide case of a first-year student of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras to the Central Crime Branch on Thursday. This decision came after Fathima Latheef’s parents alleged that their daughter faced humiliation and caste discrimination by a faculty member, which forced her to kill herself.
On Thursday, City Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan visited IIT-M campus and conducted an inquiry for about three hours with students and the faculty member. After examinations, he addressed media persons saying the case is being transferred to CCB, as it is sensitive. Additional Commissioner of Police (CCB) Eswaramoorthy and another senior officer will be heading the probe. An Additional Deputy Commissioner from the crime against child and woman wing will be the investigation officer in the case.
Addressing questions concerning Fathima’s suicide note that has been viral on social media, Viswanathan noted that he couldn’t reveal the details as it is still under investigation. However, social networking sites are buzzing with two screenshots claiming it to be from the victim’s phone. One of the screenshot blames a professor for her death, and another screenshot is addressed to the family conveying her love.
Fathima, pursuing her first-year undergraduate course in the humanities stream, committed suicide in her hostel room on Saturday. Her parents alleged that the state police have been taking the incident lightly. The parents approached Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking support for a fair probe into the circumstances leading to the student’s death. They said the professor had humiliated the girl and exposed her to caste-based discrimination.
On Wednesday, nearly 20 members of the Campus Front of India, a student organisation, staged a protest in front of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. They demanded action against the faculty and urging the case to be transferred to CBI for a fair probe.
Meanwhile, the institute issued a statement saying, “It is with deep grief and sadness that IIT Madras has to inform the passing away of a first-year undergraduate student of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department. IIT Madras faculty, staff and students extend their deepest condolences to the family, friends and other near and dear ones of the deceased student.”