IIT Madras death: Section of students stage hunger strike in the campus

A section of students representing an organisation called ChintaBar are staging a hunger strike inside the campus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

The students had threatened to protest if the management did not look into their demands. ChintaBar had demanded a “fair, time-bound internal investigation…into the conduct of the faculty” as demanded by Fathima Latheef’s family, in a letter they sent to the director Bhaskar Ramamurthi.

Ms. Latheef died by suicide on the campus on November 9.

ChintaBar said it welcomed the transfer of the investigation into the death of Fatima Latheef to the Crime Branch. Their demands, given in the representation to the Director, include an external survey into issues faced by students inside the Institute, and setting up of complaints and grievances redressal committees in all departments.

The demands had been raised earlier by the official student body, Students Legislative Council, last semester. But neither the Dean of Students nor the Director had responded, the students alleged.

Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available at 104, the State’s health helpline and at 044 2464 0050, Sneha Suicide prevention helpline.

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