Hunger strike at IIT-Madras; 3 professors inquired over student suicide
Following the suicide of a 19-year-old student at the IIT-Madras, the students now are up in arms against the management and faculty's alleged attempts to thwart the investigation.
Fathima Latheef, student of an integrated MA humanitites course at IIT-Madras, had hung herself in her hostel room inside the campus earlier this month. This had drawn notice to the alarmingly high number of student suicides in IIT - IIT-Madras has the highest number of student suicides, closely followed by IIT Kharagpur. Even as the Tamil Nadu police stated that they had received no suicide note, Fathima's family had discovered a suicide note naming a professor - Sudarshan Padmanabhan - as the cause of her death. The family came forward with an allegation of casteism and discrimination and the Kerala Chief Minister reportedly spoke to his Tamil Nadu counterpart over the matter.
Even as the family alleged that Fathima's classmates and other faculty were not communicative to them when they arrived following the girl's death, two students of IIT Madars sat on a hunger strike demanding that the management cooperate with the police investigation and implement the SLC (Student Legislative Council) resolution. The two students, Azhar Moideen and Justin Joseph, hope to end the student deaths that happen with alarming regularity in IIT-Madras.
Meanwhile, the central crime branch inquired the three professors of IIT-Madras, including Sudarshan Padmanabhan, regarding the death of Fathima Latheef. On Monday, they had talked to the staff of the hostel and the girl's father.
The fasting students are also demanding an external survey into the issues faced by the students inside the institute, which the institute currently is resisting. Aimed at the overall mental wellbeing of the students, the survey panel should include psychologists, mental health experts, sociologists and the like.