SHEER NEGLIGENCE: Three children injured in district swimming championship after hitting bottom of pool as they could not judge the depth.
Organisers of a district level swimming tournament have been booked by the police for negligence, which led to neck fracture and spinal injury to a 11-year-old participant. Two more participants also sustained minor injuries when they jumped into the 10-lane swimming pool on Thursday.
Sources said that the swimmers were not able to assess the depth of the pool due to cloudy water. The two-day district level swimming tournament was held on Thursday and Friday at the CRPF complex in Kadarpur village.
The main accused in the case is the event organiser, Sandeep Tokas, who had once trained Shivani Kataria, India’s only female swimmer in Rio Olympics 2016.
The injured participant, Sagar Rana, a resident of Gandhi Nagar in Gurgaon, is admitted to AIIMS in Delhi. The medical team attending to him said that the upper part of his body is not responding and he needed to be operated upon.
Rana is a student of class 7 and had participated in the junior national aquatic championships in Bengaluru in June.
As Rana jumped into the pool, he hit the surface and started drowning, sources said. In the absence of a medical apparatus, Rana was pulled out and laid on a mat before a CRPF ambulance reached the venue and rushed him to AIIMS. There was no ambulance at the venue even on Friday.
Jasmine Gurung, a swimmer who is training at Sports Authority of India (SAI) in Sonepat, hit her head at the bottom and sustained minor injury to her nose. Another participant reportedly broke his tooth but he was not found at the venue on Friday when the HT team visited.
“My head hit the bottom and I also injured my nose in the process,” Gurung, who participated in Friday’s events, said.
“The water level was not sufficient and the pool water was not clear. Rana and the others who were injured could not assess the pool’s depth before jumping in. It is sheer negligence,” Dinesh Rana, Rana’s father, said.
The HT team on Friday noticed that the pool was filled to capacity but the water was cloudy. The surface and the underwater lanes were not visible. A large number of insects were also present in the pool, suggesting that the water was not regularly changed or cleaned.
“The pool water is cloudy as rain imbalanced the chemicals used in the pool. Rana was injured as he dived into the pool without reading the depth of water (3.5 feet) written on the wall,” Sandeep Tokas, a member of the ad hoc committee appointed by Haryana Swimming Association, said.
The committee was appointed after abolition of the Gurgaon district swimming association last year.
The swimming pool has 3.5 foot deep on one side and 17.5 foot deep on the other end.
Rana’s family lodged a complaint at the Badshahpur police station, based on which the police filed an FIR under sections 336 (act endangering life), 337 (causing hurt), and 338 (causing grievous hurt, fracture) of the IPC.
Investigating officer, assistant sub inspector Dharmender Gaur, said that the boy is not in a condition to give a statement. The police visited the venue of the event as well.
“There is no CCTV footage as cameras were switched off due to presence of women participants. Water in the pool was cloudy. We will initiate action after investigating all aspects of the case,” Gaur said.
About 600 swimmers from Gurgaon district participated in 116 events during the two-day tournament.