Tamil Nadu girl, who filed case against Neet, ends life

Fazana Karim's* class teacher allegedly made her lift her salwar up to check the stain and gave her a duster cloth to use as a pad

17-year old S. Anitha who contested against National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medical admissions hanged herself at her residence on Friday. My heart goes out to all the pain and agony she would have undergone before taking this drastic step.

The girl left a note but did not mention her teacher by name, police said. He also blamed the State and Central Governments for Anitha's suicide. The young victim always dreamt of becoming a doctor to help the poor.

Hailing from a village in Ariyalur district, around 300 km from Chennai, she was the daughter of a daily labourer, who scored 1,176 marks out of 1,200 in the plus two exams under the Tamil Nadu state board. She lost her mother at an early age. "Anitha had faith in the promise of the government but committed suicide because she could not tolerate the betrayal". Dejected after failing to secure an MBBS seat despite her efforts, Anitha committed suicide on Friday at her home in Ariyalur. She had scored only 86 marks out of 700 in Neet.

She became the face of the state board students' fight against NEET after she chose to fight for her future and thousands of other students in the Supreme Court of India, She impleaded herself as a respondent demanding an exemption to NEET for Tamil Nadu. Anitha was one of them. DMK senior leader Durai Murugan expressed pain over the death. Further, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman assured the state that it will be given exemption from NEET.

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Even AIADMK deputy general secretary T.T.V. Dhinakaran said that the irresponsible act of the State government and the Centre, which promised to exempt Tamil Nadu from NEET, was responsible for her suicide. He demanded the resignation of health minister C Vijaya Bhaskar.

"Later, it told the Supreme Court that it had not cancelled the nod". A health ministry source said, "For us, it is very clear that today if we exempt Tamil Nadu, tomorrow West Bengal will ask for it, the day after, somebody else will ask for it. NEET will vanish into thin air". Speaking with media at Trivandrum airport, kanal opened his heart about Anitha's death. "NEET snatched the opportunity [from her] and she fought through legal means".

Her suicide sparked a few protests across Tamil Nadu by student organisations and representatives of Dalit parties.

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