Published: 15th November 2019
Fathima had written lots which we haven't released yet: IIT Madras student's sister on how she got the evidence
Ayesha Latheef, Fathima's twin sister was the one to find the student's phone — the screenshots of which have been going viral over the last few days — but how did she get it off the phone?
Even as the debate continues on whether or not IIT Madras student, Fathima Latheef, was a victim of Islamophobia, her family struggles to come to terms with her suicide. While her father is working with the police in Chennai, her sister and mother are trying to make sense of what has transpired over the last few days back home in Kerala.
A lot of people have been asking how these suicide notes got out to the media when the police have had the phone all through — people have even gone to the extent of accusing the family of fabricating the evidence. Here is the answer.
Ayesha Latheef, Fathima's twin sister was the one to find the student's phone — the screenshots of which have been going viral over the last few days. Speaking to Edex, Ayesha said that she had recognised the phone when she was in the Kotturpuram Police Station, "It was carelessly left lying on the table and I recognised it. I tried to switch it on but since there was no charge I plugged in it. When it came on, the first thing on the screen was the professor's name," Ayesha said.
Students protest on campus
Apparently, there was a lot more where that came from. "She had written a lot more in her notes. I transferred it to my phone and returned the phone to the police. We've released only two pieces from her notes, the rest we have submitted and it will be used for legal purposes," Ayesha said. Fathima's sister claims though that nobody from the faculty or administration has reached out to them, "When we went to campus there was one representative from the administration but nobody from her department reached out to us. Besides that representative nobody has gotten in touch with us," Ayesha said.
The sister also said that even though Fathima's classmates are claiming they don't know anything, her family feels something is amiss. "There were about 6-7 of her classmates that we met and all of them are maintaining the same version. They are all saying she was silent and innocent and they don't know what happened. But I feel like some covering up is happening, maybe they know something they are not telling us," Ayesha feels.
Fathima's family did notice that she was dull and withdrawn but the now-deceased student didn't tell them what was affecting her. "She was gloomy but we thought she was just home-sick. But she seems worried and scared though," her sister recalled. So does she think that Fathima was a victim of Islamophobia, "You can't rule out anything, can you? It is not news that minorities face issues on the campus. If you just google it, there are so many instances of discrimination. We know that she did face some sort of harassment, we don't know what it was but we cannot rule out anything," Ayesha said.
Thinking about her fallen sister, she recollects that Fathima was only in the fifth standard when she decided that she wanted to pursue civil services. Ayesha says she always aspired to serve people and she was determined to become an IAS officer. "She herself found the course in IIT, applied for it and she studied for the entrance on her own. She knew what she wanted to do and she worked hard for it," Ayesha tells us. In the last few days a lot of people have reached out to the family, while some have said negative things, most have reached out in solidarity and support, Ayesha says.