The SAI water sports centre in Alappuza, Kerala, which was in the news after the alleged suicide of an athlete, was on Saturday shut down for a week even as the sports body announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the family of the dead sportswoman.
The centre was temporarily shut after most trainees told SAI director general I Sreeniwas that they needed time to recover from the shock. Twenty athletes have taken leave to recover from the trauma.
Rowing athlete Aparna Ramachandran, 15, died early on Thursday and her three roommates were battling for life in Alappuzha Medical College Hospital after they apparently attempted suicide by eating a highly toxic fruit.
The incident shook the sports world and drew flak against the Sports Authority of India (SAI). The issue figured prominently in parliament as well.
A suicide note allegedly signed by the girls said their “small mistakes” were blown up by their seniors. One of the survivors won a gold at the recent National Games.
Relatives of Ramachandran said the girls were “under pressure”. They were reportedly physically and mentally harassed, and Ramachandran sustained injuries when a coach thrashed her with an oar.
Police and SAI officials questioned two senior players, Dittymol Verghese and Chippy Kurian, both members of the national gold-winning canoeing and kayaking teams, who were named in the suicide note. They reportedly broke down and said they had nothing to do with the suicide bid.
In the suicide note, Verghese and Chippy Kurain were mentioned along with two others. All four named in the note were asked by police not to leave town.