Chennai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) would probe into the reported suicide of Keralite student Fathima Latheef at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. The Tamil Nadu government has issued the order, referring the case to the premier investigating agency. Her family had earlier alleged that harassment by faculty members forced the 18-year-old to take the extreme step.
The Tamil Nadu Central Crime Branch has been probing the case so far after taking it up from the Chennai Police.
The CBI would probe only the case pertaining to Fathima's death. The central agency won't be probing into the 14 mysterious deaths of students that have been reported from the IIT, Madras, since 2006.
The Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions had last week shot off a missive to the Tamil Nadu government, instructing the case be transferred to the CBI. The Madras High Court had also suggested it would have been better if the central agency took up the probe.
Fathima's father Abdul Latheef and sister Ayisha, along with MPs from Kerala, had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking a probe into Fathima's death.
Amit Shah had then assured the family that the case would be referred to the CBI. However, Latheef had later said that he was satisfied with the Central Crime Branch's investigation and that he had asked the centre to order a probe into the suicides at the IIT in the last 10 years.
Kollam native Fathima, a first-year MA Humanities and Development Studies (integrated), was found dead at the hostel room of the IIT on November 9. Apparently, she allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself. In her phone, she had saved notes in which she blamed three professors for her death and also named them.
Her parents had alleged that Fathima has been facing mental harassment for nearly a month.
The case was referred to the Central Crime Branch earlier after an uproar by students and political parties. The issue was also raised in the Parliament.