Massive protests erupted in Chennai in Tamil Nadu after a 17-year-old Dalit girl who had moved the Supreme Court against NEET-based medical examinations allegedly committed suicide on Friday. 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), news agency PTI reported. Daughter of a daily wage earner, Anitha dreamed of becoming a doctor. She was found hanging at her house in a village in this district, police said. The Dalit girl had approached the apex court last month opposing a plea seeking admissions to under graduate medical courses only on the basis of the NEET score. Superstar Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan have expressed grief over the unfortunate demise of the girl.
Here are all the Justice for Anitha Chennai protests updates:-
10:07 PM Some students tried to stage a protest on Greenways Road near Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s house here but were detained by police.
10:03 PM 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.
7:29 PM The state government had announced relief of Rs 7 lakh to her family, besides offering a government job on compassionate grounds.
7:08 PM Political parties and other outfits in Tamil Nadu are opposed to NEET, saying it will affect rural students.
6:43 PM Responding to a question on the suicide of Anitha, T T V Dhinakaran said the state “does not need NEET at all”, reported news agency PTI.
5:56 PM At Palayamkottai in Tirunelveli district, a “wailing protest” was held by women members of pro-Tamil ‘Naam Tamizhar Katchi’, news agency PTI reported.
4:38 PM A students’ outfit tried to picket the government Multi-Super Speciality Hospital at Omanthurar Estate on the main road and its members were detained. The protestors raised slogans against the central and state governments on the issue of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).
4:07 PM The CPI(M) and its student and youth affiliates, SFI and DYFI, staged a road blockade here over the suicide of the Dalit girl. The party’s state unit secretary G Ramakrishnan and many others were detained, the police said. Similarly, VCK party workers were held when they staged a
road blockade at Kilpauk in Chennai.
3:53 PM Political parties and pro-Tamil outfits are staging state-wide protests over the death of Anitha. They sought immediate withdrawal of NEET exam.
3:38 PM: Tamil superstar Kamal Haasan said that he was deeply affected by the death of the teenager. He said that Anitha committed suicide because there was no exemption in NEET. “We should see that no student takes the drastic measure in future. Do not be dejected, this is not the end. We will fight for justice and will win,” said the actor.
3:16 PM Meanwhile, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader TTV Dhinakaran condoled the death of Anitha.
3:05 PM Anitha killed herself at her residence a week after the Centre declared that Tamil Nadu cannot be exempted from NEET. She also scored 196.75 out of 200 for medical and 199.76 out of 200 for engineering seat.
2:49 PM Anitha hailed from a village in Ariyalur district, nearly 300 kilometres from Chennai. Anitha’s father is daily wage labourer. As a mark of protest, shops are shut today in Ariyalur district.
2:36 PM Union Minister of State for Social Justice, Ramdas Athawale on Saturday termed the death by suicide of Dalit student Anitha as unfortunate, but appealed to students to abide by examination rules.
2:22 PM Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami has announced a compensation of Rs. 7 lakh to the family of Anitha, ANI reported.
2:08 PM She was even reportedly offered a seat in the prestigious state-run Madras Institute of Technology here for aeronautical engineering, news agency PTI reported.
1:51 PM Although Anitha could not get admission to MBBS, she had the high score to secure the admission for several other courses, including engineering.
1:37 PM Anitha had scored an impressive 1,176 out of 1,200 marks in class XII board examinations. In NEET, she did not fare well and missed out on getting a medical seat.
1:28 PM VCK chief Thol Thirumavalan, a Dalit leader, expressed anguish at the death of the girl and said no student should attempt ending their lives as there were a lot of opportunities to pass examinations.
12:59 PM Many protesters have been detained in Chennai, reports ANI
12:40 PM Protests visuals from Chennai: Police trying to control protesters
12:36 PM DMK working president M K Stalin expressed concern over the death of the girl and called the government inept. “Students are the future of the nation and they should never attempt to do such things,” he said while asking thestate government to own up responsibility for the death.
12:28 PM Superstar Rajinikanth also condoled the death of the teenage girl. “What has happened to Anitha is extremely unfortunate. My heart goes out to all the pain and agony she would have undergone before taking the drastic step. My condolences to her family,” he said in a tweet.
12:26 PM Education Minister C Sengottaiyan expressed grief and anguish and said steps were being taken to prepare students for any competitive exam. He said such instances must never be repeated.
12:22 PM Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar told reporters that he was deeply pained by the death of the girl.
12:21 PM Meanwhile, the residents held a ‘road roko’ in the village, slamming the AIADMK-led state government for the death of the girl.
12:20 PM Anitha was found hanging at her house in a village.
12:19 PM The Dalit girl had approached the apex court last month opposing a plea seeking admissions to under graduate medical courses only on the basis of the NEET score.
12:18 PM Chennai: Protest by Revolutionary Students and Youth Front (RSYF) members over the death Anitha; Protesters detained by Police.
— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2017
12:10 PM The police said they were investigating the matter.