Chennai(PTI): A 17-year-old girl, an aspirant of MBBS and belonging to a village in Vellore District, died by suicide on Wednesday as she was concerned that she may not get through the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test, police said.

As the number of student suicides increased to three within four days, starting with that of Dhanush on September 12 when the national test was held, Chief Minister M K Stalin and leaders of political parties, conveying their condolences to the bereaved family, earnestly appealed once again to the student community to not take such extreme measures.

The government announced a dedicated toll free number, 104, for offering counselling to medical aspirants who appeared for NEET.

The girl, Soundarya belonging to Thalayarampattu village near Katpadi in Vellore district, who had appeared for NEET on Sunday was dejected as she was worried that she may not be able to clear the test, police said. She hanged herself this morning by 9.30 AM in a room of her house using a saree, a Katpadi police officer told PTI. Over a span of about four years, Soundarya is the 17th medical aspirant to die by suicide in Tamil Nadu following the introduction of NEET. Stalin said he was shattered to learn about her suicide and squarely blamed the Central government for being "stone-hearted" and unrelenting to exempt Tamil Nadu from the ambit of NEET.

He reiterated his staunch opposition to the test and once again assured cancelling the test, apparently in its application to Tamil Nadu. Requesting the student community in a video message, he said, "I beseech you again and again to not take your life, the future of this country lies in your future; let us live and prove to be successful." Also, he said, "we will melt the stone-hearted people, we will not rest until the injustice of NEET is eliminated." The government has announced the 104 helpline to help NEET students, he said and appealed to the parents to not exert pressure on their children over examination and its results. The Chief Minister also requested teachers, social activists and the film fraternity to "sow the seeds of confidence" among students. AIADMK top leader O Panneerselvam urged Chief Minister Stalin to pay special attention on this issue as suicides are being reported even before the declaration of NEET results. The AIADMK leader urged the government to offer counselling to aspirants and parents to avoid such suicides in future. Panneerselvam, a former Deputy CM, requested the students to realise that ending one's life is not a solution and added that there are a variety of options open to them to emerge victorious in life.

The AIADMK coordinator, also a former Chief Minister, slammed the DMK for repeatedly promising to "cancel NEET" which led the students to "believe" that they would be able to join courses in medicine based on their Class XII marks. When such an assurance to get the test eliminated was not fulfilled, students were forced to take the exam and this resulted in mental agony for some aspirants who were driven to take the extreme step, he alleged.

On Tuesday, Kanimozhi, belonging to Ariyalur District died by suicide fearing the outcome of NEET, for which she appeared days ago.

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Mumbai, Sep 20: Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut appeared before a Mumbai court on Monday in connection with a criminal defamation complaint filed against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar, and said she had "lost faith" in the magistrate's court as it indirectly "threatened" her of issuing a warrant if she failed to appear before it in a bailable offence.

Ranaut also moved a counter complaint in the court against Akhtar for alleged "extortion and criminal intimidation", and her lawyer informed the court that they had filed an application before chief metropolitan magistrate, seeking transfer of hearing into the complaint to another court.

The court had last week said it will issue a warrant against Ranaut if she fails to appear on the next date of hearing on September 20.

Ranaut appeared before Andheri metropolitan magistrate R R Khan on Monday for the first time since summons was issued to her in February this year, and completed the bail formalities.

As the matter came up for hearing, her lawyer Rizwan Siddique told that court that Ranaut does not want to proceed with this court (in connection with the complaint).

Siddique said they have "lost faith in the court as it seems to be biased".

The court has indirectly "threatened" her of issuing a warrant on two occasions in a non-cognisable, compoundable and bailable offence, where as per law regular presence is not required, the lawyer claimed.

Ranaut has been called before the court without any cause or reason, he said.

He further submitted that till today, there is no order as to why she is required to be present regularly for the bailable, non-cognisable and compoundable offence.

Akhtar's lawyer Jay Bharadwaj termed Ranaut's plea for transfer of complaint to another court as "extremely bizzare".

"They have neither given any notice nor a copy of the (transfer) application to us," he said.

The court will hear the matter next on November 15.

Earlier this month, the Bombay High Court dismissed a plea filed by Ranaut seeking quashing of proceedings initiated against her by the local court on the criminal defamation complaint filed by Akhtar.

Justice Revati Mohite-Dere had said in the order that there was no procedural illegality or irregularity in the metropolitan magistrate's order initiating the proceedings.

Akhtar (76) had filed the complaint in the court in November last year, claiming Ranaut had made defamatory statements against him in a television interview, which allegedly damaged his reputation.

In his complaint, Akhtar claimed that Ranaut dragged his name during an interview while referring to a 'coterie' existing in Bollywood, following the alleged suicide committed by actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June last year.