Friends and relatives of K Divya took to the streets on Wednesday to vent their anger after she was driven to suicide out of shame two days earlier.
Divya, 21, had been stripped of her clothes at college in a theft case, and she hanged herself in her hut with her saree on Monday. Her family is in the fishing business and she had been singled out for stripping for her “inferior” social status.
Protesters held up traffic at the upmarket adjoining colonies of Besant Nagar and Adyar, demanding action against the people who conducted the search.
After her death, family members found a note in which she wrote “teachers enquired with all students but they treated me ….”
Police said Divya, a final-year commerce student at Dr MGR-Janaki Devi College for Arts and Science for Women in Adyar, was among the four girls frisked after a student complained she lost R3,000 in the classroom on Saturday.
It was then that the head of the commerce department, R Jayalakshmi, identified four students and searched them. Police said the college lecturers first denied there was such a body search but later admitted to it.
Jayalakshmi and three others have been arrested. Police sent the body for post-mortem on Wednesday.
Divya’s mother, K Santhi, said her daughter was disturbed after the incident and she felt she had been treated like a criminal.
Santhi told press persons Divya could not muster the courage to complain because the examinations were round the corner and she thought she could be victimised.