Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 14 July 2020 5.49 AM IST

Two students launch fast in IIT-M backing Fathima family's demand


CHENNAI: Two students of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras on Monday launched an indefinite fast on the campus demanding an internal inquiry into the conduct of faculty as sought by the family of a woman student who committed suicide recently.

Azhar Moideen, a final year humanities student, and Justin Joseph, pursuing PhD in the same stream, launched the "hunger strike" holding placards and also demanding an internal inquiry, a promise for fair and unbiased investigation and setting up of a grievance redressal committee.

"Our main demand is an internal inquiry into the conduct of faculty; Fathima's family in their letter to the director (of IIT) had sought an internal probe into the conduct of faculty and we are backing their demand, there are other demands as well," Azhar told PTI.

Asked whether the management had called them for talks, he said, "we just got a reply and going through it."

The prestigious institute has been rocked by protests after Fathima Latheef, a first-year humanities student, committed suicide in its hostel on November 9. Her Kerala- based family has alleged a senior faculty was responsible for her taking the extreme step.

Father of the deceased student Abdul Latheef had last week called on Chief Minister K Palaniswami and the Tamil Nadu Director General of Police, seeking a fair, expeditious probe.

Political parties, including DMK, too staged protests over the incident and the case, handled by the local police initially, has been transferred to the Central Crime Branch.

The IIT-M has said it is extending full cooperation to the police investigation and appealed to all concerned not to initiate or spread any rumours about the institute and let the inquiry be completed.

Meanwhile, Police sources on Monday indicated that questioning in the case was on but declined to elaborate.

The fasting students are also demanding among others an external survey into the issues faced by the students inside the institute as demanded in a resolution passed unanimously in the Students Council

"Chinta Bar", a students body of which the two are members, said they decided to go ahead with the hunger strike since the management was yet to accept all their demands.

"It will be called off if and when the administration issues a statement or sends a smail (a mail transfer platform) to all students saying that all our demands will be met at the earliest," it said in a statement.

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