DMK president MK Stalin entered Kalaivanar Arangam for the assembly session wearing masks with 'Ban NEET, Save TN students' printed on them.Photo: ANI

DMK leaders express outrage over suicide of NEET aspirants


Madras High Court judge seeks criminal contempt proceedings against actor Suriya over his remarks on NEET

Chennai: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leaders on Monday expressed their outrage against National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) following a spurt of student suicides ahead of the test held on Sunday.

At least three candidates who were preparing for NEET died by suicide in the state on Saturday over fear of the outcome of the test and disappointing their parents.

The leaders of the key opposition party in Tamil Nadu on Monday wore face masks decrying NEET to the parliament and the state legislative Assembly.

DMK MPs including Tiruchi Siva, Kanimozhi and T.R.Baalu protested as the monsoon season of parliament commenced on Monday. They wore face masks with, 'Ban NEET, save TN students' printed on them.

The members reportedly protested near the Mahatma Gandhi statue demanding to get rid of NEET which, they said, deprives the future of poor and rural students who are unable to clear the exam as they can't afford private coaching or other privileges enjoyed by the students in cities.

Tiruchi Siva said over 10 students in the state died by suicide due to the fear caused by the exam.

The DMK insists that NEET should be done away along with the new national education policy that has been approved by the cabinet, he said.

The DMK and CPI (M) have also given adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha over the suicide of students due to NEET.

In the state Assembly, DMK president M.K.Stalin, wearing anti-NEET face mask, led the party MLAs as the three day monsoon session of the Assembly commenced on Monday.

Speaker P.Dhanapal adjourned the House for the day after the members paid homage to former president Pranab Mukherjee, Congress MP H Vasanthakumar and DMK MLA J.Anbazhagan.

Stalin later told reporters that his request to include the names of NEET aspirants in the condolence resolution was turned down by the Speaker.

Stalin further claimed the Assembly business advisory committee refused to pay heed to the party's suggestion for an extended session to discuss crucial issues like NEET and the Centre's draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 notification.

Stalin said he and his party MLAs gave about 15 to 20 notices seeking special call attention motion to discuss the issues. "I wonder if these could be taken up in the next two days," he noted.

Meanwhile, a Madras High Court judge SM Subramaniam wrote to the HC chief justice AP Sahi to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against actor Suriya over his remarks on NEET.

In a hard -hitting statement on Sunday evening, the actor said it pains him to see students forced to sit for NEET even during the global pandemic. Suriya noted the education policies are framed by those who are unaware of the ground realities of the poor and the downtrodden.

The actor added that while court proceedings were held through video-conferencing over the fear of contagion, the court ordered the students to be fearless and write the exam in person.