"She consumed poison after she failed the NEET. We have not received any formal complaint yet but this is what we have heard," said a police officer.
Prateebha's father is a construction labourer in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu. She had scored 1125 out of 1200 in her class 12 board examinations. Investigators say Prateebha was a student of AKT School in Kallakurichi.
Last year, Anitha, a medical aspirant killed herself by hanging after she failed to crack the mandatory NEET, for her dream medical career. She was the daughter of a poor, Dalit daily-wage labourer who had scored 98 per cent in her class 12 board examinations.
Prateebha's death may trigger a fresh wave of protests against NEET in the state.
The state had earlier obtained a Presidential assent for exemption from NEET. The centre, however, opposed it and since last year NEET became mandatory in Tamil Nadu.
The state government, since last year, had been offering free NEET coaching for students of government-run schools but the overall results have dropped compared to last year, say teachers.
Less than 40 per cent of the students who had appeared for NEET in Tamil Nadu has been able to clear the examinations this year, far less than Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.