Anti-NEET protests by students and pro-Tamil activists continued for the seventh day today in various parts of Tamil Nadu with scores of volunteers being arrested by the police.
Anti-NEET protests by students and pro-Tamil activists continued for the seventh day today in various parts of Tamil Nadu with scores of volunteers being arrested by the police. All the protests were held before the Supreme Court had given a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that no agitation takes place in the state over the NEET examination issue. The apex court had also directed that anybody involved in any kind of activity that stalls normal life of citizens in the state should be booked under the appropriate law. Students in Chennai, Cuddalore and Tiruchirappally among other districts protested against NEET and demanded ‘justice’ for Anitha, a 17-year-old medical aspirant who committed suicide last week in Ariyalur, apparently upset over the fact that Tamil Nadu will not get exemption from NEET.
She had earlier moved the apex court against the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET). Among others, members of a student outfit climbed on the Srivilliputhur Andal Temple at Virudhunagar district and raised slogans against the Central and state governments and demanded immediate withdrawal of NEET. They were later secured by police and detained. Students boycotted classes in Chennai and Cuddalore. Some of them also formed a human chain protest in Cuddalore district. Student activists who staged a flash protest at Tiruchirappally were detained by police.
In Coimbatore, about 60 lawyers were arrested when they attempted to hold a ‘rail roko’ at the railway station demanding immediate and permanent exemption to Tamil Nadu from NEET. Led by Coimbatore Bar Association president K M Dhandapani, over 100 lawyers stood on the track, when Alleppey-Dhanbad Express was scheduled to arrive on platform number three. The advocates, who boycotted the court proceedings for the second day today, raised slogans in support of their demands, which also include the removal of education from Concurrent list and moving it to the State list.
As the agitators squatted in front of the train, police arrested nearly 60 lawyers, including a few women, police said. Protests had erupted in Tamil Nadu soon after Anitha, daughter of a daily wage earner, allegedly hanged herself at her house in Ariyalur district on September 1. She was reportedly upset after reports emerged that Tamil Nadu would not be exempted from the ambit of NEET. The Supreme Court had last month asked the Tamil Nadu government to start counselling for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses in the state, based on the NEET merit list.