Published: 12th November 2019
IIT Madras student's parents seek probe into suicide, allege mental harassment by faculty
Based on their earlier talks with Fathima the family informed that their daughter had mentioned that she was facing torture from the part of her teachers
The parents of 19-year-old Fathima Lathief, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Madras) student who committed suicide on Saturday, have alleged that their daughter took the extreme step after being mentally harassed by some of her faculty members. Kollam Mayor V Rajendrababu, who's also a family friend of the student, along with her family members went to Chennai to receive her body. The body of the girl which reached Nedumbasseri was brought to Kollam on Sunday around 1 am. The burial was held at Kilikolloor Valiya Pally jamaat burial ground around 9 am.
"There is some mystery related to the incident. The police have recovered a suicide note from Fathima's room and in the note, she had blamed some teachers and students for torture and harassment," said the Mayor.
Based on their earlier talks with Fathima the family informed that their daughter had mentioned that she was facing torture from the part of her teachers. Based on which, a complaint has been filed by Fathima's twin sister with the Kotturpuram police seeking a probe into the incident, said one of her relatives.
The body of the 19-year-old student was found hanging from the ceiling fan of her hostel room. Although investigations are currently underway, the police suspect Fathima committed suicide as she was depressed over scoring low marks in her internal examination. Kollam native Fathima Latheef was a first-year student in the institute's Humanities and Social Sciences Department. On Saturday afternoon, her friends had gone to call her when they found her not answering the door. They informed the hostel warden who with the help of the security broke open the door only to find her dead.
Meanwhile, the authorities of the college have expressed grief over her death in a statement and also informed that the department had no role over the tragic death of the girl. "IIT Madras faculty, staff, and students extend their deepest condolences to the family, friends and other near and dear ones of the deceased student. This is indeed an irreparable loss to the institute and the family. May her soul rest in peace," read a portion of the statement.
What comes as a shock is that this is the fifth suicide at IIT Madras in the last one year. A final-year Ocean Engineering student from Kerala's Palakkad had committed suicide in September this year. Earlier in January 2019, a first-year M Tech student and a native of Uttar Pradesh committed suicide in his room.
Recently, a PhD scholar from Jharkhand also committed suicide. In December 2018, Aditi Simha, an assistant professor at IIT, committed suicide in the staff quarters on the campus.