Mount road in Chennai was brought to a standstill on Saturday for sometime, as various student groups and political outfits took to the streets to protest the death 17 year old Anitha in Ariyalur district. Agitators have taken to the roads in various parts of Tamil Nadu to speak out against the 'imposition of NEET' by the Centre and State governments.
Student groups and political parties including the CPI(M) and VCK held protests in Kilpauk and Anna Salai in Chennai. Agitations were also carried out in Coimbatore, Trichy, Puducherry, Pudhukottai and Ariyalur, the district that Anitha belongs to. In Trichy, 14 students have begun a hunger strike, asking that NEET be scrapped.
The demand remains uniform across the state, with students alleging that the future of many medical aspirants has been made uncertain by the competitive exam. Effigies of Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have been burnt in Chennai and Coimbatore.
Slogans raised at the venues, alleged that Anitha was killed by the state and central Governments. Women and children were seen at the protests in Chennai. Desperate police officers were forced to bodily remove the agitators and detain them in buses to allow for the traffic to be cleared.
Protests began on Friday night following the death of the young medical aspirant who had studied in a state board school and scored 1,176 out of 1,200 in the 12th standard. She had become the voice against NEET when she decided to fight for her future and that of thousands of other students.
She took the fight against the entrance exam to the Supreme Court of India and impleaded herself as a respondent demanding an exemption for Tamil Nadu. State board students believed that the government of Tamil Nadu let them down by not revising the syllabus, making them lose out to their peers in CBSE and other boards.
On August 22 however, the Supreme Court(SC) ordered the Tamil Nadu government to begin medical admissions based on NEET. The SC verdict came after the Centre refused to endorse Tamil Nadu’s draft ordinance seeking one-year exemption from NEET.