Continuing their protest over 17-year-old Dalit medical aspirant Anitha's suicide, political parties, students' bodies and pro-Tamil outfits hit the streets with many heavyweights like T T V Dhinakaran and made a beeline for the girl's native village to pay their tributes.
On September 1, the Chennai teen had decided to end her life after fighting a hard battle against National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in Supreme Court for the last couple of months.
According to reports, Anita who was the resident of Ariyalur district, was the daughter of a daily labourer.
Inspite of being excellent in her class 12th examination, Anita did not get a seat in medical colleges across Tamil Nadu.Though she had scored 1,176 marks out of 1,200 in the plus two exams under the state board, failed score good in the NEET and hence committed suicide.
She had obtained a seat in aeronautical engineering at the prestigious Madras Institute of Technology but secured only 86 out of 700 in the newly-introduced entrance exam.
On August 22, the Supreme Court has directed all the medical colleges in Tamil Nadu to use National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) as the only basis for admission across the state. The verdict came after the Centre refused to endorse Tamil Nadu's draft Ordinance seeking exemption from NEET for one year.
Meanwhile, Anitha's family has rejected the Tamil Nadu government's offer of seven lakh rupees in financial aid on Monday.
Previosuly Tamil Nadu government had put an complete end to all kind of entrance examinations for medical admissions throughout the state and the class 12 board examination results were considered to be a base for the admission. Though last year the Supreme Court had exempted Tamil Nadu from NEET, this year it refused to allow the same.
Union Minister Prakash Javedkar did not protest over the matter and said, "National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) is a issue which has been decided by Supreme Court and therefore, I will not make any comments."
Anitha was reportedly upset after it became known that Tamil Nadu would not be exempt from the ambit of NEET because students like her could not afford private coaching classes like reacher ones in the cities.
In January this year, Tamil Nadu had introduced Bills in the Legislative Assembly to exempt aspirants from appearing for the NEET for admission to medical and dental colleges and Tamil Nadu Assembly unanimously adopted the Bills before sending it to the President for approval.
On June, the Tamil Nadu government came out with an order which reserved 85 per cent of MBBS and BDS seats to state board students and only 15 per cent for CBSE and other boards, this was quashed by the courts later.
Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and the central government did not accept their responsibility for her death as they had initially assured that Tamil Nadu will get one year exemption from NEET.
Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who belongs to Tamil Nadu, had promised the Centre's support for an Ordinance or executive order to exempt the state from NEET for a year, but in Supreme Court, the Attorney General said the Centre could not back the move.
NEET 2017 was conducted bt the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on May 7 and the results were declared on June 23.
After the NEET 2017 examination process was kicked off this year, the examination process witnessed several controversies, including court cases over setting difficult question papers for vernacular language students and protests.