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Ensure no agitation takes place over NEET, Supreme Court tells Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has seen an escalation in protests after last week’s suicide by 17-year-old medical aspirant Anitha S who had petitioned the Supreme Court against NEET.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2017 20:59 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
NEET,NEET suicide,Anitha S
Political parties and pro-Tamil outfits staged statewide protests over the suicide of a 17-year-old girl who had moved the Supreme Court against NEET- based medical examinations, in Chennai last week. (PTI file)

The Supreme Court ordered the Tamil Nadu government to book people protesting against a common medical entrance test if they disrupted “normal life”, cracking down on a campaign that was triggered by the death of an aspiring doctor who was one of the petitioners against NEET at the top court.

The order was passed on a petition filed by advocate GS Mani, who complained of a breakdown in the law and order in the state due to the protests.

The protests flared after Anitha, who was among petitioners seeking a stay on the implementation of NEET (National Eligibility and Entrance Test) in Tamil Nadu, committed suicide last week. She had scored top marks in her Class 12 exams, but did not make the cut in NEET, which was a deviation from the previous process of medical admissions that banked heavily on boards results.

Mani said the agitation has snowballed since last week with the participation of political parties and medical aspirants who have taken to the streets in protest.

A bench led by the chief justice of India Dipak Misra ordered Tamil Nadu government to maintain law and order. It said the state has to comply with the directions of the five-judge bench and asked the state “to book in accordance with law” those indulging in any form of agitation against NEET.

The court, however, said it was not averse to peaceful protest and demonstration that did not result in violence

Formal notices were issued to the state and its principal home secretary. State’s top law officer, advocate general, was asked to be present before the court on September 18. Court made the two bureaucrats accountable to implement the order. It said leaders can also be booked if they try to jeopardise normal life.

DMK working president MK Stalin defied a ban on protests by the SC and the police, and began holding a rally in Tiruchirapalli.

His rally was scheduled before the SC order, and he decided to stick with it after a meeting with other opposition leaders, including those from Congress, Left parties and VCK. They agreed that the NEET protest should go on.

TTV Dinakaran, who was to address an anti-NEET gathering, however, cancelled his programme after the SC order.

First Published: Sep 08, 2017 17:00 IST