3 Professors, Named by IIT-Madras Student in Her Suicide Note, Questioned by Special Team


Chennai: Three professors were questioned by a special investigative team late on Monday evening in the case related to the suicide of Fathima Lateef, a humanities student at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras.

The names of three professors were reportedly mentioned by Fathima, whose body was found in her hostel room on November 9, in her suicide note.

The insight into Fathima’s mind is crucial for investigators to arrive at what compelled the student to choose the path of suicide. According to the FIR filed by police, Fathima’s body was found by her hostel mate, Aleema Santhosh, after her parents called up her friends to check on her.

The special team had on Saturday met Fathima’s father and questioned him. It will also be questioning several of her hostel mates and staff members.

The family of Fathima has alleged that a faculty member was responsible for their daughter's death and said they will wait till Friday to see if there is any action taken in the case.

Meanwhile, two students of IIT Madras, who on Monday had launched an indefinite fast on the campus demanding an internal inquiry into the conduct of faculty as sought by Fathima’s family, withdrew it on Tuesday, saying the management has assured to meet their key demands.

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 internal inquiry, a promise for fair and unbiased investigation and setting up of a grievance redresssal committee.

"We have called off the (hunger) strike," Moideen, a final-year humanities student, said.

The fast was called off following assurances from the Dean that two of their demands would be implemented "at the earliest", while that for a probe into the conduct of the faculty would be discussed with the Director later, he said. The Director was currently not in town and this subject came under his jurisdiction, Moideen said, quoting the Dean.

Moideen said the Dean has sent a mail to all the students, assuring their demands for setting up complaints and redressal system in every department would be implemented "at the earliest", besides a study on external issues faced by the students at the premier technical varsity.

(With inputs from PTI)