A day after suicide by Pooja Kumari, a national-level handball player and a student of the local Khalsa College, the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) on Sunday constituted a panel to look into the case. The college is an SGPC-run institution.
The five-member committee comprises Gurmohan Singh Walia, vice-chancellor, Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, Fatehgarh Sahib, Kuldeep Singh, principal, Khalsa College, Budhlada, Jatinder Kaur, principal, Khalsa College, Moga and two SGPC secretaries. The committee was asked to submit the report within four days.
Pooja (20), a student of BA (second year) at General Shivdev Singh Diwan Gurbachan Singh Khalsa College,hanged herself in her home on Saturday as she was allegedly denied sports quota that would have got her a free-of-cost room in her college hostel and a proper diet – a luxury for her street-vendor father.
Her suicide note, written in blood, and addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, says: “Mere parivar ki madad karo PM Modi ji (Please help my family, PM Modi),” reads a line. “I have to think a hundred times before spending five rupees but denial of hostel means I spend Rs 3,720 monthly to reach the college campus... which my family can’t bear,” reads the note, a copy of which is in HT’s possession.
College principal Dharminder Singh Ubha said Pooja never asked for the hostel facility . “She was given admission on August 18 without any fee... She never approached the authorities for hostel facility,” he said. “If she would have, then we would have allotted her a hostel room.”
Pooja has also accused the college’s head of the physical education department, Gursharan Singh Gill, of harassing handball, hockey and kabaddi players for failing to win medals in the previous session. Gill, who is on the run, has been booked for abetment to suicide. Police said raids were being conducted to arrest him.
The college principal admitted that there was delay in admission process of some players under sports quota as lot of formalities were required to be completed.