#JusticeForFathimaLatheef: Two IIT Madras students who went on 'indefinite' fast call it off after management's promises

Chennai: Two Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras students on Tuesday withdrew their indefinite fast on the campus over the suicide of a woman student, saying the management has assured that their key demands will be met.

"We have called off the (hunger) strike," Azhar Moideen, one of the two students who were on the protest, told PTI.

Moideen, a final year Humanities student, and Justin Joseph, pursuing PhD in the same stream, had launched the "hunger strike", demanding among others an internal inquiry into the conduct of faculty as sought by the family of Fathima Latheef, who ended her life in the hostel on November 9.

Also read: #JusticeForFathimaLatheef: IIT Madras student hangs self, Twitter calls it 'institutional murder'

Her family has alleged a senior faculty was responsible for her taking the extreme step.

The students on the fast had also demanded a promise for a fair and unbiased investigation and setting up of a grievance redressal committee.

Moiden the Dean of the IIT-M has assured them that two of their demands would be implemented "at the earliest," while that for a probe into the conduct of faculty would be discussed with the Director later.

The Director was currently not in town and this subject came under his jurisdiction, Moideen said quoting a mail from the Dean.

Moideen said the Dean has sent the mail to all the students assuring that a complaints and redressal system in every department, as demanded by them, would be set up "at the earliest" and a study on external issues faced by the students at the premier technical varsity would also be considered.

Moideen and another student had embarked on an indefinite fast on Monday, following the alleged suicide of Fathima Latheef, a first year Humanities student hailing from Kerala.

The prestigious institute has been rocked by protests by students and political parties after Fathima, a first year humanities student, hanged herself.

In the backdrop of the protests, the government has transferred the case to Central Crime Branch Police, who have been holding investigation.

Father of the deceased student Abdul Latheef had last week called on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and state Director General of Police JK Tripathy, seeking a fair and expeditious probe.

Political parties including DMK too staged protests over the incident and the case, handled by the local police initially, has been transferred to the Central Crime Branch.

Also read: #JusticeForFathimaLatheef: 'Death of IIT Madras student not suicide', says DMK president MK Stalin

The IIT-M has said it is extending full cooperation to the police investigation and appealed to all concerned not to initiate or spread any rumours about the institute and let the inquiry be completed.

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