NEET suicides rock TN, oppn toughen stand

Three NEET aspirants in Tamil Nadu allegedly committed suicide on Saturday, a day before they were to appear for the medical entrance exam. Many of the state’s political leaders expressed grief over the deaths and hit out at the Centre for going ahead with the examination.

Members of Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and Students Federation of India (SFI) courted arrest in various parts of Chennai after staging protests against National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) on Sunday morning.

Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam condoled the death of Jothishree. Her death took place just a day before the medical entrance test date. It is sad to know that students, the pillars of our future, were taking such extreme steps, lamented Pannerselvam in a tweet, urging parents to stand by students and help them face the challenges with fortitude.

DMK President MK Stalin, in his Facebook page, said he was shocked to hear about the girl’s death. Suicide is not a solution, NEET is not a test, Stalin said.

DMK MP Kanimozhi, PMK Founder Dr S Ramadoss, MDMK General Secretary Vaiko and leaders of several political parties condoled her death and wanted the Centre to scrap NEET at least for Tamil Nadu this year to prevent further loss of lives.

Opposition party leaders also slammed the Centre for its adamant attitude to hold the NEET exams in the State despite increasing number of suicides, saying “don’t know how many lives are going to be lost”.

School Education Minister K A Sengottaiayan said the policy of the State government was that it was against the NEET exams.

Ramadoss, whose party is an ally of the AIADMK, condoled the death of Jyothi durga, and said only if the Opposition to NEET exams turns into a people’s movement, a solution could be found to this impasse.

AMMK chief TTV Dhinakaran said the fear of NEET has claimed one more life. “Don’t know how long  this tragedy is going to continue,” he said.