Protest over girl’s suicide in TN

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Sep 2017 09:11:33


 

CHENNAI/ARIYALUR,

DEMANDING “justice” for the 17-year-old Dalit medical aspirant, political parties, students’ bodies and pro-Tamil outfits on Saturday hit the streets with many heavyweights like T T V Dhinakaran making a beeline for the girl’s native village to pay their tributes.


Anitha, daughter of a daily wage earner, allegedly hanged herself at her house in Ariyalur district of the State on Friday. She was reportedly upset after it became known that Tamil Nadu will not be exempted from the ambit of National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET).
She had moved the Supreme Court against NEET-based medical examinations in the southern State. Road and rail blockades and attempts to picket Government offices were organised by protesters, even as the BJP and the ruling AIADMK came under severe criticism. Some students tried to stage a protest on Greenways Road near Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s house here but were detained by police.


Some activists also raised slogans against lawyer Nalini, wife of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, who had represented pro-NEET students in the court. The CPI(M) and its student and youth affiliates, SFI and DYFI, staged a road blockade here over the suicide of the girl. The party’s state unit secretary G Ramakrishnan and many others were detained, police said.


Similarly, VCK party workers were held when they staged a road blockade at Kilpauk here.
A students’ outfit tried to picket State-run Multi-Super Speciality Hospital at Omanthurar Estate on the main road and its members were detained. They raised slogans against the central and State Governments on the issue of NEET.


At Palayamkottai in Tirunelveli district, a “wailing protest” was held by women members of pro-Tamil ‘Naam Tamizhar Katchi’.
Hundreds of students and workers of various political parties and organisations were arrested at Coimbatore when they attempted to stage agitation on the issue.
A few students asked the Tamil Nadu Government to take moral responsibility and step down from office and sought a judicial inquiry into the incident, police said.


A group of workers belonging to Viduthalai Chiruthigal Katchi (VCK) assembled near Gandhipuram bus stand, blocked the road and raised slogans against the government and sought exemption for Tamil Nadu from NEET.
Some workers also attempted to burn an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Coimbatore, but the police prevented them. Police arrested 11 persons in this connection.


Protests were also held in Salem, Madurai and Rameswaram by students’ and youth outfits who demanded justice for the girl and sought immediate withdrawal of NEET.
Meanwhile, Anitha’s mortal remains were kept at her native village in Ariyalur for public to pay tributes. Among others, Dhinakaran, VCK founder Thol Thirumavalavan, DK leader K Veeramani and a host of social activists, cinema personalities and others paid tributes.


Some locals also raised slogans against Dhinakaran when he arrived at the girl’s native village. Some of them claimed they opposed his visit as “he is part of the (ruling) AIADMK.”
Dhinakaran later said that despite scoring “high marks” of 1176 out of 1200, Anitha could not get a medical seat.
“In the interest of the people of Tamil Nadu, Central Government should cancel NEET,” he said.


Traders had also shut down shops in Ariyalur.
At the receiving end for the teen’s suicide, the BJP said NEET was a “pan-India issue” and that its admissions were based on the merit list following a Supreme Court verdict.
NEET is being held in Tamil Nadu following the apex court order, BJP State President Tamilisai Sounderrajan said even as she regretted the death of Anitha.


She claimed rural students have benefited more from NEET and that they have been highlighting the three attempts in the exam.
“Let this not be highlighted as brutal politics. State BJP wants no more Anithas,” she said.


Union Minister of State, Pon Radhkarishnan said Anitha’s death has caused “unbearable pain.”
Condoling her death, he also expressed sympathies with her family.
He further exhorted children to face their future with mental grit and urged politicians, activists and others to make encouraging remarks for children.