Anti-NEET protests continue in Tamil Nadu

Chennai: As anti-NEET protests by students and youth outfits continued across Tamil Nadu, AIADMK (Amma) deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran today announced an agitation in the matter to “protect social justice”.

The protest by the students’ wing of the AIADMK (Amma) would be held here on September 9, he said and urged the volunteers of the party, students, parents and others to participate in large numbers.

The Centre was “imposing” the National Entrance-Cum- Eligibility Test (NEET) on the students with the “help” of the state government, thereby affecting the dreams of the students of getting admitted into medical colleges, Dhinakaran said in a statement.

The sidelined deputy chief of the ruling party in the state pointed towards the suicide of 17-year-old Anitha from Ariyalur district over the NEET issue and said the entrance exam, which was “taking away” the rights of the poor in the rural areas, should be scrapped.

“The NEET, which is taking away the rights of the poor people in the rural areas and affecting their dreams of getting admitted into a medical college, should be scrapped.

Amma (late chief minister J Jayalalithaa) was determined about this,” Dhinakaran said, while referring to the former AIADMK supremo’s opposition to the exam.

“Since Amma’s demise, we are witnessing every right of the state being compromised and this should not continue. The social justice the Tamils got after much struggle should be upheld,” he added.

Dhinakaran said Anitha, who had earlier moved the Supreme Court opposing the NEET, had scored a centum in many subjects in her class 12 exam, but “lost” the opportunity to join a medical course following her low NEET score.

The entire state was feeling the loss caused by her demise, he added.

Meanwhile, students and pro-Tamil outfits continued with their anti-NEET protests in different parts of the state.

Members of some student outfits were detained for attempting to picket the Central railway station here, the police said.

Students and student bodies held agitations in Chennai, Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Tiruchirappally among other places, even as many boycotted their classes.

The students, demanding “justice” for Anitha, raised slogans against the central and state governments and wanted the NEET to be scrapped.

Protests had erupted in Tamil Nadu soon after Anitha, the daughter of a daily wage earner, allegedly hanged herself at her house in Ariyalur district on September 1.

She was reportedly upset after reports emerged that Tamil Nadu would not be exempted from the ambit of the NEET.

The Supreme Court had last month asked the Tamil Nadu government to start the counselling for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses in the state, based on the NEET merit list.

It had given the directive after the Centre told the court that it was not in favour of a recent ordinance passed by the state to exempt it from the NEET this year.