Published: 19th November 2019
Fathima suicide: Two IIT Madras students call off fast after insti's promises to address harassment
Two students belonging to ChintaBar, an independent student body on campus had started their hunger strike in support of an internal probe into Fathima's suicide
After receiving assurances from the IIT Madras administration, the students called off their hunger strike on Tuesday afternoon. The students launched their hunger strike at around 11 am on Monday morning after not being satisfied with the way the administration had responded to their demands with regard to the suicide of Fathima Latheef.
Two students belonging to ChintaBar, an independent student body on campus had started their hunger strike in support of an internal probe into Fathima's suicide. "On day two of the hunger strike, the Student Legislative Council and the General Student Body have received assurances from the IIT Madras administration regarding two of the three demands we had raised with the director," the students said.
The Dean of Students has also told the students that they can discuss the possibility of setting up an institute level committee to inquire into the conduct of the faculty as demanded by Fathima's family with the director when he returns to campus in two days. "I have appraised the director of the concerns you raised yesterday. He will meet you upon his return," the dean said in his email.
One of the other demands included an external committee to be set as recommended by the Student Legislative Council resolution which had been passed the previous semester, "The administration has also agreed to set up grievance redressal mechanisms to deal with issues of harassment, discrimination and academic grievances," they said.
In his letter to the SLC Speaker, the Dean, Sivakumar M Srinivasan, said that they had already been working on a mental health study, "We will complete the process of setting up a committee with all the stakeholders to undertake the study as recommended by the SLC within the next four months. I also assure you that I will work with the director to make sure the grievance redressal mechanism against harassment, discrimination is also available within departments."
ChintaBar said in a statement that they welcome the move and are therefore calling off the hunger strike. "We are calling off the hunger strike, with the hope that there will be no more deaths in IIT Madras," they wrote.