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PM Modi, Amit Shah promise CBI inquiry in Fathima Latheef suicide case


NEW DELHI/KOLLAM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have assured a group of MPs and the family that the CBI will investigate the recent suicide of Fathima Latheef, a student at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M), according to her twin sister Aysha Latheef.

Speaking to TNIE, Aysha said the prime minister and union home minister have assured the family that a probe will be conducted into similar cases reported from higher education institutions including IITs and IIMs.

Fathima’s family met the prime minister and home minister in New Delhi along with MPs from Kerala on Thursday. “The prime minister has assured us that within a week, the case will be handed over to the CBI. Amit Shah also told us that two investigations will be ordered in parallel -- one related to Fathima’s death and another to reinvestigate all similar cases which have been reported from such higher education institutions including all IITs and IIMs till date,” she said.

N K Premachandran, MP and RSP leader, who was among the MPs who accompanied the family, said: “Both the prime minister and home minister have informed us that the suicide of IIT-Madras student Fathima will be investigated by CBI. The investigation will be led by an Inspector General-rank woman officer.” The RSP leader said the MPs met Modi and Shah along with Fathima Latheef’s father and sister who hail from Kollam. A memorandum seeking a CBI probe into the case was handed over to the prime minister and home minister by the MPs. “Congress leader Rahul Gandhi representing Wayanad constituency in the Lok Sabha is the first signatory in the memorandum,” Premachandran said.
The Crime Branch wing of Tamil Nadu police is now investigating the suicide of Fathima, a first-year Humanities student, on November 9.The incident had sparked protests in Chennai, with opposition parties including the Dravida Munnetra Kazagham, demanding a “transparent” investigation into the death.

‘Fathima named 10 persons’
Expressing doubts about his daughter’s death, Abdul Latheef, father of Fathima Latheef who was found dead in a hostel room at IIT-Madras, has demanded a fair probe to find out whether it was a suicide or a planned murder. He also revealed that Fathima has named 10 persons in her suicide note.
“As per the information provided by the police and her hostel mates, there were no signs of suicide in the hostel room from where her body was found hanging. Also, the names of 10 persons including three teachers and NRI students have been mentioned in her suicide note,” said Latheef.

He also said the other students also informed him that her body was found in a kneeling position and the room was not locked from inside. The family alleges that the visuals from the CCTV cameras at the hostel were later found tampered with. Earlier, he had alleged that some students from Kerala including NRI students and some seniors also had a major role in his daughter’s death. Meanwhile, after inspecting Fathima’s laptop and tablet, the forensic department has confirmed before a Chennai court that the suicide note was written by her.

Abdul Latheef said the other students had told him Fathima’s body was found in a kneeling position and the room was not bolted from inside. The family claimed CCTV footage from the hostel had been found tampered.