Fathima Latheef, a first-year master’s student in Humanities and Development Studies of The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Madras) was found hanging from the ceiling fan in her hostel room on November 9.
A family friend who also happens to be the Mayor of Kollam, V Rajdendrababu, along with his family members went to Chennai to receive her body.
The body of Fathima which reached Nedumbasseri was brought to Kollam on Sunday morning around 1 am. The burial was held at Kilikolloor Valiya Pally jamaat burial ground around 9 in the morning.
“There is some mystery related to the incident. Police recovered a suicide note from Fathima’s room and in the mobile phone note, she had blamed some teachers and students for torture and harassment,” said Rajendrababu.
Chennai Police transferred the case to the Central Crime Branch (CCB) after her parents got hold of a mobile phone note that named one of the members of the faculty as the reason for death. The police have conducted a round of interrogations of her friends, classmates and some members of the faculty.
“We have constituted a special team. ADC Megalina will be the investigation officer and the team has experienced officers because it is a sensitive case,” AK Viswanathan, The Chennai Police Commissioner, said today.
This is also the fifth suicide reported at IIT Madras in the last one year. The authorities of the college have expressed grief over Fathima’s death in a statement and also highlighted that the department had no role to play in the tragic incident.
A portion of the statement read, “IIT Madras Faculty, staff, and students extend their deepest condolences to the family, friends and other near and dear ones of the deceased student. This is indeed an irreparable loss to the institute and the family. May her soul rest in peace.”
IIT Madras has also stressed that some measures have been enacted to help students and faculty members to deal with their mental health.