The mysterious deaths of three female students of a medical college: CPI(M) demands the dismissal of the health minister and the conduct of a Judicial Inquiry
On January 23, 2016, Saranya, Monisha and Priyanka, three third year students of the S.V.S.Homeopathy Medical College in the village of Bangaram in Kallakurichi taluk of Viluppuram district in Tamil Nadu, were found dead in a well near the college, with their hands being tied and injuries on their bodies. In this college, recognized by the government, there are no proper facilities by way of class rooms, laboratories, toilets and so on nor any security. Fees several times the state-stipulated amount have been collected by the college. Very soon after enrolling in the college, several students have tried to leave the course, seeing the lack of facilities. The management, using goondas, has threatened and attacked parents and students, driving protesters away. Political parties, public interest groups, parents and students have given petitions to the collector, the departmental authorities, the minister in charge and the chief minister in this regard. The students have protested strongly at the district collectorate last October and only after this, an inquiry by the revenue divisional officer has been ordered. The college management did not take any action on the inquiry report. Instead, it threatened the students concerned. It is in this situation that the dead bodies of the three students with head and body injuries have been recovered.
It is the educational policy of the government of Tamil Nadu, which has been one of privatising higher education including medical education and (the government) being an accomplice in the looting of students through exhorbitant fees and in private profiteering, that is responsible for the death of these three students, the spoiling of the future of many students and the economic loss to many. The CPI(M) strongly condemns this policy of privatisation of higher education.
The government of Tamil Nadu must immediately order a judicial inquiry into the death of the three students. Appropriate action should be taken against the officials who allowed this college, with no facilities except a building, to function.
In addition to cancelling the recognition of the college, the government must ensure the return of the fees paid in excess of the amount stipulated by the government to the families of the students concerned. A proper inquiry must be conducted into the deaths of the three students who had led the struggle against the threats of the management. Inquiries must be conducted against officials who failed to take any action despite the several petitions submitted and they must be punished. The minister who did not take any action must be dismissed immediately from the cabinet.
The CPI(M) state secretariat of Tamil Nadu demands that the state government must immediately come forward to examine whether proper facilities exist and the correct fees are being collected in all the private and self financing engineering colleges, medical colleges, polytechnics, ITIs, and arts and science colleges and rectify matters as required.