A special team of the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of the Chennai Police, which is probing the death of IIT Madras student Fathima Latheef, on Saturday held a detailed discussion with her father at the Kerala guest house in Chennai.
Latheef, who met the DGP of Police and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami on Thursday and got an assurance of a fair probe, told reporters after the officials of the special team who briefed him about the steps taken like enquiries held with faculty members of the institute and information got from the computer and mobile phone of Fathima now in their custody.
It was in her mobile phone that Fathima had named three professors and said they would be responsible if she was driven to death. The SCB team, comprising Additional Commissioner C Easwarmoorthi, Additional Deputy Commissioner for crime against women and children Megalina and assistant commissioner Prabhakaran, had a three-hour meeting with Latheef in the Kerala House.
Latheef later told reporters that he had conveyed to the police whatever information he had gathered. He said he had handed over to the Tamil Nadu police all documents in his possession
He has already dismissed the story Fathima committed suicide in a fit of depression after she was awarded poor marks in a semester test by a professor and maintained that she was a brilliant student and she was subjected to religious persecution. Immediately after Latheef made this charge, the IIT-Madras came out a statement denying it and said it was cooperating with the police to ensure justice was done to the student.
It said its students, faculty, staff and residents “are deeply saddened and extremely perturbed” by the “unfortunate and untimely demise” of Fathima “and the events that unfolded thereafter”. It said the police were informed “immediately” after the tragedy and the Institute was extending “full cooperation” to the police probe. “IIT Madras is committed to do whatever is required as per law and ensure fair-play”, it said.
“We continue to mourn the loss of such a promising young student and continue to take all efforts to ensure the physical and mental well-being of our students, faculty and staff. We reiterate that we are fully cooperating with the police investigation”.
It appealed to all concerned not to spread rumours about the Institute and those involved .Such a trial by the media “is gravely demoralising students and faculty members and staff and their families”.
It was also tarnishing the reputation of one of the finest institutions in the country whose faculty “is known for high quality, integrity and fairness”.
Let the enquiry be completed, it pleaded.