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Protests in Tamil Nadu after Dalit girl who took NEET fight to SC kills self

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Chennai, Sep 2: Political parties and pro-Tamil outfits on Saturday staged state-wide protests over the suicide of a 17-year-old girl who had moved the Supreme Court against NEET- based medical examinations.They sought immediate withdrawal of the entrance exam.Anitha’s father before her last rites said: “Anitha managed to study in difficult circumstances. She was concerned about NEET. What wrong had she done, who will answer.”

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The CPI(M) and its student and youth affiliates, SFI and DYFI, staged a road blockade here over the suicide of the Dalit girl. The party’s state unit secretary G Ramakrishnan and many others were detained, the police said. Similarly, VCK party workers were held when they staged a road blockade at Kilpauk here.A students’ outfit tried to picket the government Multi- Super Speciality Hospital at Omanthurar Estate on the main road and its members were detained.

The protestors raised slogans against the central and state governments on the issue of National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET).At Palayamkottai in Tirunelveli district, a “wailing protest” was held by women members of pro-Tamil ‘Naam Tamizhar Katchi’. Protests were also held at Coimbatore, Salem and Rameswaram by students’ and youth outfits who demanded justice for the girl and sought immediate withdrawal of NEET.

Daughter of a daily wage earner, Anitha dreamed of becoming a doctor. She was found hanging at her house in a village in Ariyalur district yesterday. She was reportedly upset after it became known that Tamil Nadu will not be exempted from the ambit of NEET.The apex court had last month asked the state government to start counselling for admissions to MBBS and BDS seats in the state based on NEET merit list.

It had given the directive after Centre told the court that it was not in favour of a recent ordinance passed by the state to exempt it from NEET this year.Political leaders including DMK Working President MK Stalin and VCK founder Thol Thirumavalavan and actors Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth, among others, had condoled Anitha’s death.The state government had announced relief of Rs 7 lakh to her family, besides offering a government job on compassionate grounds.

Political parties and other outfits in Tamil Nadu are opposed to NEET, saying it will affect rural students.Early this year, the state assembly had unanimously adopted two resolutions to ensure for the continuation of medical admissions in the state based on Class XII marks and not through an entrance exam, as envisaged by NEET.

Source Tribune India



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