Hours before he was to appear for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for a third time, a 19-year-old youth belonging to a village near Tamil Nadu’s Salem, died of suicide on Sunday. “The boy was found hanging in his house by his mother around 3.45 am and the family informed us,” a Mettur range police officer told PTI.
Asked if any suicide note was found, he declined to specify but added he was to appear for the national test for the third time after having failed to clear the test in two previous attempts... in 2019 and 2020.
The body of Dhanush who belonged to Koozhaiyur village near Mettur was handed over to the family after the postmortem. A large number of people gathered near his house and his death by suicide led to tense moments in the village, police said.
Dhanush’s father Sivakumar said his son was studying in his room till 1 am. “We thought he was sleeping in the room. We found him hanging from the fan when we entered the room in the morning to wake him up for the exam,” Sivakumar said.
Opposition leader and former CM Edappadi K Palaniswami, who hails from Salem, slammed the DMK government for making false promises in their poll manifesto. He accused the ruling DMK of creating confusion among the students who did not know if the NEET exams would be conducted or not.
Meanwhile, over 95% of the registered 16.14 lakh candidates appeared for NEET-UG at over 3,800 centres across India on Sunday.
HOW STALINE GOT INVOLVED
-- Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin appealed to students not to lose hope and assured that a bill against NEET will be brought on Monday.
-- He said the incident reinforces the requirement to bring back education to the state’s list.
-- “The Union government’s indifference and adamant attitude over NEET continues to be the reason for suicide by promising students,” Stalin told the media.
8 “We will pass a bill against NEET and I am confident we would win the support of all chief ministers. I appeal to students not to take any drastic decisions,” Stalin said.
WHEN WAS NEET INTRODUCED?
During the UPA regime when DMK was part of it, then TN CM Karunanidhi had managed to get presidential approval for exemption from NEET for the state. However, the AIADMK government failed to get a similar exemption from its BJP ally when it came to power, even though the state assembly had passed a Bill against the test.
NTA LATEST STANDING
-- The National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts the exam, had recently received approval from the SC to conduct it as per schedule. The court rejected a plea by some students saying NEET was clashing with other exams.
-- Over the last few years, 15 medical aspirants have died by suicide in the state alone.