Chennai

IIT Madras student death probe transferred to Central Crime Branch

Chennai Police Commissioner Viswanathan visits IIT Madras campus for conducting enquiry following protests over death of a 19-year-old girl student Fathima Latheef in the campus last Saturday.

Chennai Police Commissioner Viswanathan visits IIT Madras campus for conducting enquiry following protests over death of a 19-year-old girl student Fathima Latheef in the campus last Saturday.   | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj

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“A special team headed by Additional Commissioner of Police C. Easwaramurthy will thoroughly enquire into the death and bring out truth”

The investigation into the death of 19-year-old student Fathima Latheef on the Indian Institute of Technology campus here has been transferred to the Central Crime Branch following allegations levelled by her parents about harassment from faculty members and subsequent condemnation from political parties and student organisations.

Fathima, a first-year student of M.A. Humanities, reportedly ended her life on Saturday in her hostel room. On going through her mobile phone, her parents said that they had learnt that she had been harassed by faculty and discriminated against on religious grounds.

They found fault with the police for giving the impression that she took the extreme step as she was not doing well in her semester exams.

On Tuesday, the family met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and sought his intervention. The parents’ allegations triggered protests from political parties and students’ organisations in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

On Tuesday, the family met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and sought his intervention. The parents’ allegations triggered protests from political parties and students’ organisations in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Chennai City Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan, accompanied by senior officers, visited the campus on Thursday. He held a preliminary inquiry with staff and police officers. Mr. Viswanathan then told journalists that the investigation had been transferred to the Central Crime Branch from the Kotturpuram police.

A special team had been formed under C. Easwaramurthy, Additional Commissioner of Police, Central Crime Branch. Meghalina, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Wing for Crime against Women and Children, would be the investigating officer. “All efforts have been taken to expedite the investigation and bring out the truth,” said Mr. Viswanathan.

‘Experienced team’

Dismissing a plea for a CB-CID inquiry from political parties, the Police Commissioner said Mr. Easwaramurthy had cracked several tough cases and proven his mettle while he was serving in the CBI. Assistant Commissioner S. Prabakaran, who has also served in the CBI, is part of the team. “It is very sensitive case and they will hand efficiently. Since the investigation is in progress, we cannot reveal any further information. Further investigation will bring out the truth,” he said.

Meanwhile, activists from the Students’ Federation of India and Muslim Students’ Federation staged protests in front of the institute.

Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 7:23:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/iit-madras-student-death-probe-transferred-to-central-crime-branch/article29971307.ece

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