Mumbai: IIT-Powai's students protest in solidarity with Fathima Latheef's family

Updated: Nov 19, 2019, 21:23 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

IIT Powai students have urged the IIT Madras authorities and Tamil Nadu police for fair and unbiased investigation without delay

Another protest will be held at Mumbai University's Kalina campus by Joint Action Committee for Social Justice
Another protest will be held at Mumbai University's Kalina campus by Joint Action Committee for Social Justice

Students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay held a protest on Tuesday inside the campus in solidarity with family and friends of Fathima Latheef, an MA student at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras who committed suicide. Around 80 students participated in the protest that was organised collectively by three students' organisations namely - Ambedkarite Students Collective, Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle and North-East Students' collective.

Fathima-Justice
The students held protest in solidarity with family and friends of Fathima Latheef

With major support coming in for family and friends of Fathima Latheef from the academic sector across the country, one such activity was held at IIT Bombay on Tuesday while another one will be held at Mumbai University's Kalina campus by Joint Action Committee for Social Justice.

"Reports suggest that Fathima Latheef took her life. But her parents say that she was not someone who could take her life. They have also come out to name certain faculty members in IIT Madras who have made her commit suicide. This is the sixth case of suicide in the IIT Madras campus this year. Casteist and Islamophobic behaviour of faculties and their discriminatory attitudes have led to many such institutional murders. Students communities across all educational campuses need to check such casteist and Brahminical practices in academia. We call the case of Fathima as an 'institutional murder' because institutions of Higher Education have failed to provide constitutional safeguards and institutional mechanisms for students from SC, ST, OBC, Muslim, LGBTQ, and other minority communities who enter these premier institutes," reads the statement issued by the students' bodies at the IIT Bombay who held the protest.

Fathima-IIT-Madras
The students urged authorities to make A K Suresh committee report on the institutional murder public

The students have also listed their demands in their statements which include IIT Madras authorities and Tamil Nadu police for fair and unbiased investigation without delay. Accused faculties should be suspended until the investigation is over. MHRD, Ministry of social justice and empowerment and National Commission for Minority Affairs to set up an independent inquiry into possibilities of academic harassment, religious, gender, caste or ethnicity-based discrimination and institutional murders in the campuses including it IITs.

Their major demand also states, "IIT Bombay should make the A K Suresh committee report on the institutional murder of Aniket Ambhore (student of IIT Bombay) public and state the actions recommended."

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