Three days after a Scheduled Caste girl, Anitha, allegedly ended her life dejected over not being able to join the MBBS course despite scoring 1,176 marks in Plus Two, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry witnessed sporadic protests by college students who demanded that NEET-based medical admissions should not be followed in the State.
Students of SRM University and Valliammai Engineering College in Potheri near Chennai formed a human chain urging the government to abolish the NEET, which they said would serve as the best tribute to Anitha. Joseph, who coordinated the protest, said Tamil Nadu must be allowed to admit students to MBBS/BDS courses based on Plus Two scores of aspirants similar to an exemption granted to Andhra Pradesh under Article 371 (D) of the Constitution.
In Puducherry, students boycotted classes and came out in a large procession from Anna Salai to the head post office. They staged a major demonstration in front of the head post office, condemning the Centre and the Tamil Nadu governments. The agitators, owing allegiance to the Students Federation of India (SFI) and various outfits, raised slogans seeking justice for Anitha’s death. Policemen were deployed in strength on Rangapillai Street since the students had planned to lay siege to the Raj Nivas.
The central districts of Tamil Nadu witnessed a wave of protests with students boycotting classes and taking to the streets.Scores of protesting students and youths were taken into custody by the police in Tiruchi and neighbouring districts. With their eyes blindfolded, a group of protesters affiliated to All India Student Federation and other organisations continued their fast for the third day on Monday in front of the KAP Government Medical College in Tiruchi.
Many students boycotted classes and participated in the strike on the Madurai Kamaraj University campus, to condemn the NEET rule.