Published: 20th November 2019
Fathima suicide: TN MP Thirumaavalavan asks MHRD to enact Rohith Act, set up SC/ST/OBC cell in IITs
The MP also pointed out that members from Tamil Nadu including himself cutting across party line have raised the issue in Lok Sabha and have walked out in protest
Thol Thirumaavalavan, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader and MP has written to HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank asking for a SC/ST/OBC/ minority students grievance and welfare cell in all IITs. He also demanded to know the 'culprit' who had been named in Fathima Latheef's suicide note was yet to be arrested.
"Fathima has left a suicide note in which she has named one Prof Sudarshan Padmanabhan as the reason for her suicide," the minister said.
"IIT Madras is known for discrimination and students' suicides. Fathima was the fourth student to commit suicide in 2019, 14 students have committed suicide in the last 10 years. The problem is not personal, it is structural. Many students are complaining that the faculties are discriminating against the students on the basis of their caste, religion and gender," Thirumaavalavan said in his letter. The MP also asked the MHRD to enact the Rohith Act to address students' suicides issues in Indian universities.
He also pointed out that members from Tamil Nadu including himself cutting across party line have raised the issue in Lok Sabha and have walked out in protest.
He reiterated the demands that the IIT Madras students had made including ordering an independent inquiry into academic harassment and religious, caste and gender-based discrimination in the IIT campus. "Set up a grievance mechanism with the representation of students to address the issues of students. Appoint a full-time gender-sensitive psychiatrist and set up a mental health support system," he wrote.