Published: 15th November 2019
Social media trolling is demoralising everyone: IIT Madras responds to #JusticeForFathima storm
Speaking up in the face of mounting pressure from netizens and the general public, the institute said that they were hopeful that the police investigation would yield some answers
With pressure mounting on social media, following the storm that erupted after IIT Madras student Fathima Latheef's suicide earlier this week, the IIT Madras administration has released a statement asking people to ease off as it was 'demoralising' staff, their families and students on campus, "The social media trolling of the Institute, faculty members and students and trial by the media, even before the conclusion of the police investigation, is gravely demoralising the students, faculty members and staff as well as their families, and tarnishing the reputation of one of the finest institutes in the country," the statement read.
The social media attention has been increasing because the family of Fathima Latheef has been vocally demanding a thorough investigation into claims that she was discriminated against — there is a standing claim that three professors were named in a suicide note written on her mobile phone — though the police has kept silent about this. Hashtags like #JusticeForFathima have been trending or almost 72 hours straight.
Justice " for fathima Latheef— Latheef Koottalungal (@koottalungal) November 14, 2019
Youth Congress Malappuram Parliament Committee pic.twitter.com/L2uivaOikP
Explaining their side of things in the most tacit way possible the institute's statement read, "As soon as the incident came to the knowledge of IITM authorities, the police was informed immediately and are being extended full cooperation by the Institute. IIT Madras is committed to do whatever is required as per law and ensure fair-play."
While there is no mention of action taken against the professors named in the purported suicide note, there is one line that reinforces the belief that the IIT Madras administration is firmly behind them, "Our faculty is known for its high quality, integrity and fairness," it read.
Justice for Fathima Latheef..!!— Naveed Ahmed ℃k (@riyazuddinn7668) November 14, 2019
She is 19 years old Fathima Latheef from IIT Madras.
She has committed suicide because her faculty allegedly taunted her for her Muslim identity.
”My daughter faced casteist and religious discrimination from her faculties”
~Abdul Latheef pic.twitter.com/9izp4Xx1up
The statement ended with an appeal for people to leave them alone and leave the investigating to the Central Crime Branch, which has been entrusted with finding what happened, "We continue to mourn the loss of such a promising young student and continue to take all efforts to ensure the physical and mental well-being of our students, faculty and staff. We reiterate that we are fully cooperating with the police investigation. Our humble appeal to all concerned is not to initiate or spread any rumours about the institute and those involved and let the enquiry be completed," the institute said.