New Delhi: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras in its internal report on the suicide of a student, Fathima Latheef, makes no mention of “religion discrimination” as one of the reasons why she ended her life, as alleged by her family.
The report sent to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) says Latheef was a bright student and scored well in all subjects barring one, and that caused her distress.
Latheef, a first-year Master’s student at IIT Madras, had committed suicide in her hostel room on 9 November. Her family had alleged that she ended her life because she had been discriminated against on the basis of her religion.
Following the allegations by the family, the HRD Ministry had asked the institute to submit a report on the incident. IIT Madras is said to have submitted the report last month.
“The report that was submitted to us says Latheef was a brilliant student and scored well in all subjects except one and that became the reason for her distress,” said a senior official in the ministry, who is privy to the report.
“Neither the report, nor the FIR says anything on religious discrimination. It is something that the student’s parents have been alleging,” the officer added.
Another senior officer in the ministry, also privy to the details of the report, confirmed to ThePrint that the report is with the ministry. He also said it does not mention anything on religion. “There is no mention of religion in the report from IIT. It’s an allegation made by the family,” said the officer, who did not wish to be named.
ThePrint contacted the HRD ministry’s spokesperson for an official response but received none. This report will be updated if and when the ministry responds.
IIT Madras Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi also did not reply to queries on the report. He, however, said the institute was cooperating with investigating agencies. “As you may be aware, the suicide of Fathima Latheef is being inquired into by the Tamil Nadu Police and was subsequently handed over to the CBI. IIT Madras is fully cooperating with both agencies in their investigations and awaits the findings,” he said.
Family had alleged religious discrimination
Latheef’s family had been alleging that she faced religious discrimination in the institute. Her father Abdul Latheef had even met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to demand a proper investigation in the case.
Following his request, the CBI is now investigating the case.
According to Latheef’s sister, Aisha, she had found notes on her phone that hinted that the Master’s student was depressed for the last one-and-a-half months. “I saw a lot of notes on her phone, which show that she was depressed for the last one-and-a-half months,” Aisha had told ThePrint in an earlier conversation.
This led the family to believe that she was being harassed at the institute. According to the family, Latheef had also named professors, who were allegedly harassing her, in her notes.