Protests continued for the second day today here over the death of a Dalit medical aspirant and a petitioner in the Supreme Court against the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET). Activists of a pro-Tamil outfit, ‘May 17 Movement’ were detained when they attempted to lay siege to the BJP’s state headquarters here, police said. The protesters raised slogans against the Central and state governments over the suicide of 17-year-old Anitha from Ariyalur, daughter of a daily wage earner who allegedly hanged herself at her house in Ariyalur district on Sept 1 reportedly upset over not getting an MBBS seat. Security has been beefed up at the BJP office here. Pro-Dalit Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) also staged protests here and scores of its volunteers were detained. Anitha 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 earlier moved the Supreme Court against NEET. Opposition DMK also targeted BJP and the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, faulting both for failing to ensure at least one year exemption for the state from NEET.
DMK Working President M K Stalin, who late last night paid tributes to Anitha at her native village shortly ahead of the cremation, said his party had donated Rs 10 lakh to her family. NEET had affected social justice in Tamil Nadu, Stalin, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, claimed and assured his party will take the fight against NEET forward. “DMK will align with like-minded forces to uphold the key Dravidian policy of social justice, retrieve the rights of the state, bring Education under the State List and ensure nobody else suffers Anitha’s fate in Tamil Nadu,” he said in a letter addressed to his partymen.
The BJP lashed out against those doing “brutal politics” over the teen’s suicide. BJP state President Tamilisai Sounderrajan also took objection to the “insult” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue. “Insulting Prime Minister Modi cannot be accepted,” she said in a brief statement, apparently referring to effigies of the PM being burnt by protestors at Coimbatore yesterday.