IIT Madras student death probe transferred to Central Crime Branch

City Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan said the investigation into the death of 19 year- old- girl student, Fathima Latheef, in IIT – Madras campus has been transferred to Central Crime Branch.

Fathima was from Kollam and pursuing M.A. Humanities at the IIT-M. She reportedly ended her life on Saturday in her hostel room.

Going through her mobile phone, the parents of the victim alleged that their daughter died as she was harassed by faculty members and that she was discriminated on religious lines. They also found fault with police for shoddy investigation and for giving the wrong impression that she took the extreme decision since she was not doing well in semester examination.

The family met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and sought intervention for a thorough probe into the death. The allegations of parents triggered protests from political parties and students organisations in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Under such circumstances, Mr. Viswanathan accompanied by senior officers, visited the IIT-Madras campus. He held preliminary enquiries with the staff.

Later talking to media persons, Mr. Viswanathan said: “As it is a sensitive case, the investigation has been transferred from Kotturpuram police to the Central Crime Branch.”

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

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, and special officer for Crime against women and children Meghalina will be the investigation officer. Assistant Commissioner of Police S. Prabhakaran will be part of team, said Mr. Viswanathan.

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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