A 19-year-old NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) aspirant, who was found dead in Tamil Nadu's Ariyalur district on Wednesday, is suspected to have died by suicide, police said. The death of the teenager has triggered a political row; his parents said he was stressed due to the medical entrance exam to be held on Sunday.
The 19-year-old student, Vignesh, had appeared twice for NEET earlier, police said. His body was found in a well in a village, about 300 km from state capital Chennai. "The youth has not left any suicide note. His parents say he appeared stressed, we are investigating what triggered to kill himself. He had not cleared NEET in his earlier attempts," said Ariyalur Superintendent of police VR Srinivasan to NDTV.
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswamy today condoled the death of the student as he announced a compensation of Rs 7 lakh for his family.
DMK chief MK Stalin, reacting to the death, on Wednesday attacked the central government. "When will the merciless central government stop the NEET. How many more lives should we lose ?" the opposition leader asked.
S Ramadoss, expressing shock, on Wednesday said in a statement: "The central government has been saying that NEET is to upgrade the standard of medical education and prevent commercialization. If it is true that the quality of medical education has been rising, many who scored much less than Vignesh in NEET must not have been allowed to join private medical colleges by pumping in loads of money."
The 81-year-old opposition leader from the PMK, an ally of the ruling AIADMK, was referring to the student's score last year and his inability to join a private medical college due to financial constraints.
"If this situation continues, there is a threat of many students resorting to suicide every year due to fear and frustration over the NEET. To prevent this, the centre should come forward to permanently scrap the NEET," he said, while appealing the state government to provide Rs 50 lakh as compensation to the student's family.
Three years ago another medical aspirant Anitha - a topper in class 12- had killed herself in the same district after she failed in NEET
Several non-BJP ruled states have sought postponing the medical entrance exam this year amid rising number of Covid cases. Last week, the Supreme Court rejected for the second time a request to postpone the exam.
For close to a decade, Tamil Nadu had abolished entrance tests for medical admission and admissions were made on the basis of Class XII marks. The state feels NEET favours students who can afford private coaching.
The government argues that NEET denies opportunity for high-achievers from lesser privileged families. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister asked centre to let the state revert back to it's earlier method of admission but the centre did not favourably respond.
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