The girl jumped off a building near her home in southern India's Tamil Nadu state on Monday, officials said, leaving a note saying her teacher had tortured her. Her outstanding scores in class 12 in all likelihood could have helped her in cracking the medical entrance exam.
Barely a week after the Supreme Court denied any exemption for Tamil Nadu from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), 19-year-old girl Anitha, who led the fight against the new format for medical admissions, committed suicide at her residence, allegedly because she was unable to get a medical seat.
A bright student, Anitha had scored 1,176 out of 1,200 in the Plus Two examinations. She had scored an impressive 1,176 out of 1,200 marks in class XII board examinations, but couldn't qualify for a medical college seat after she obtained 86 out of 700 in the compulsory NEET.
In her petition in the apex court against NEET, Anitha had said that rural students would not be able to compete against students from urban areas if a common entrance exam were to be held for medical college seats.
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Manithaneya Makkal Katchi leader Jawahirullah blamed the State and Central governments for the NEET fiasco. The verdict was issued after the Narendra Modi government refused to endorse the state's ordinance seeking exemption from the newly-introduced exam for a period of a year.
Medical college admissions in Tamil Nadu were conducted exclusively based on the Plus Two examination marks until 2016. She had lost her mother at a very young age; her father is a daily wage labourer and was brought up by her paternal grand mother at their modest house, which even lacked basic sanitation facilities like a toilet.
Her suicide sparked a few protests across Tamil Nadu by student organisations and representatives of Dalit parties.
After her classmates pointed out that her bench and uniform had menstrual blood on them, the victim asked her teacher for permission to go to the restroom.
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The incident took place at 3 am on Wednesday, when other members of her family were sleeping.
"I don't know what NEET is, and my father who has done his best to give me a good education, can not afford NEET coaching classes", Anitha said then.
Tamil Nadu Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar, who made regular television appearances to assure students that they would be exempt from NEET, Sept. 1 urged the students not to resort such an extreme step.
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