Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 7 lakh to Anitha’s family. Anita, a Dalit student, hails from Kuzhumur village in Ariyalur, one of the backward districts of Tamil Nadu. She went to the Supreme Court challenging NEET and had scored 1,176 out of 1,200 marks in her Class XII examination. She had told the court in her petition multiple times that the NEET question paper was heavily CBSE-based and was unfair to state syllabus students. She could not recreate the magic of her class 12 marks in NEET 2017. The deceased student is the daughter of a casual labourer and aspired to be a doctor. Anitha, a Tamil Nadu state board student had petitioned against NEET along with many students deeming it unfair to state syllabus students to compete with CBSE syllabus based NEET.
Anitha is said to have taken the extreme step after she was unable to secure a medical seat in the first round of counselling. Netizens, as well as the opposition parties in Tamil Nadu, accused the state and central governments for Anitha’s death for failing to protect the interests of its students. The Tamil Nadu government had passed an ordinance seeking exemption from NEET on the insistence of the Union government but the Supreme Court insisted on medical admissions based on NEET rankings. Earlier in August, the Tamil Nadu government released the list of rank holders and began the process of admissions to MBBS/BDS courses in the state. Condoling the death of Anitha, DMK working President M K Stalin said that said. “The Union government and the non-existent Tamil Nadu state government are responsible for the death of Anitha.”