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Thousands bid tearful adieu to Dalit girl, who commits suicide over NEET

Ariyalur, Sep 2 (UNI) Thousands of people from different walks of life bade a tearful adieu to S Anitha, a 17-year-old medical aspirant from Scheduled Caste community, who had committed suicide, after failing to secure a medical seat due to the contentious National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) in her native Kuzhumur village, here tonight.

Anitha, who impleaded herself as a respondent in the Supreme Court, demanding an exemption to the NEET for Tamil Nadu, was found hanging from the ceiling in her house, yesterday.

Her suicide sparked massive protests across the State by activists of various political parties, student organisations and Dalit outfits.

Leader of Opposition in Tamil Nadu and DMK Working President M K Stalin, CPI State Secretary R.Mutharasan, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) President Thol Thirumavalavan, DMDK President Vijayakanth, Dravidar Kazhagam President K Veeramani, AIADMK AMMA faction Deputy General Secretary T T V Dhinakaran, Naam Tamilar Katchi leader Seeman, Dravida Eyakka Tamilar Peravai General Secretary Suba Veerapandian, Tamil film fraternity and activists of various students organizations paid homage to thedeceased, which was kept on a open ground near her house.

After the last rites were performed, the body was taken in a procession and cremated in a burial ground in the village at 2333 hrs. Stalin, Vijayakanth and Thirumavalavan took part in the funeral procession.

The cremation process was delayed for few hours, as her family members decided to wait till the arrival of Stalin, who had rushed to the village from Mumbai to pay his homage.

Tight security arrangements were made in and around the village with 500 police men were deployed for security.

All the shops and commercial establishments in Ariyalur district observed a day’s bandh to mourn the death of Anitha and also to condemn the Central and State governments for failing to exempt the State from NEET.

Irate public staged protest and burnt the effigy of BJP leaders in the village. Students and cadres of various political parties also staged demonstrations and hunger strikes in different parts of the State.

The girl, who belongs to a family hailing from economically weaker background, secured 1,176 out of 1,200 marks in Class XII examinations on the State board syllabus. She scored high cut-off marks of 196.75 for medicine and 199.75 for engineering course. But, in NEET, Anitha scored 86 out of 720 marks, as the national test was based on CBSE syllabus. Moreover, the girl’s family could not afford special coaching for her to prepare for NEET.

Anitha would have been the first doctor from her community in her village had admissions to medical colleges been made based on Class XII marks.
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