IAS trainee drowns in swimming pool trying to rescue woman officer

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByShiv Sunny
May 31, 2017 10:01 PM IST

IAS and IRS trainees had gathered for a poolside party at Foreign Service Institute in south Delhi’s Ber Sarai when a woman officer slipped into a swimming pool.

A 30-year-old trainee IAS officer drowned trying to save a woman colleague in a swimming pool of the Foreign Service Institute in south Delhi’s Ber Sarai around midnight on Monday, police said.

IAS trainee Ashish Dahiya who drowned in a swimming pool at Foreign Service Institute in south Delhi’s Ber Sarai on Monday.
IAS trainee Ashish Dahiya who drowned in a swimming pool at Foreign Service Institute in south Delhi’s Ber Sarai on Monday.

Ashish Dahiya from Sonepat in Haryana was among more than two dozen young officers who congregated for a poolside party before leaving for their assigned place of duty.

Most of the officers left before midnight, leaving Dahiya and about eight more behind. It was around that time that a woman Indian Revenue Service officer slipped into the 10-foot-deep pool.

“Some of officers jumped in and rescued the woman,” said Chinmoy Biswal, additional DCP (South).

In the commotion they failed to notice Dahiya has disappeared. But the woman remembered that he too was among those who helped pull her out.

She alerted her friends and a search began. They spotted Dahiya floating in the water with his face down.

Attempts were made to revive him. “One of the officers is a doctor and he applied cardiopulmonary resuscitation before rushing him to Fortis Hospital,” Biswal said.

Dahiya was brought to the hospital in Vasant Kunj at 12.50am, where doctors declared him dead on arrival. Police later sent the body to AIIMS for an autopsy.

The 2016-batch IAS officer from the Jammu and Kashmir cadre was to report as an assistant collector in Srinagar from Thursday. He and his friends completed their training at the National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie a week ago.

His family members, who reached Delhi on Tuesday morning, said Dahiya was a good swimmer and questioned how he could drown in a placid swimming pool. They demanded a CBI probe.

“During his training as a Himachal Pradesh police officer, he once swum across the Bhakra Nangal dam on the Sutlej,” said his uncle, Kuldeep Singh.

Another family member said: “We were informed that he died as water entered his lungs.”

Ishwar Singh, the DCP (South), dismissed foul play and said the autopsy report confirms he drowned. “There were no external injuries on the body. The autopsy was videographed.”

Evidence suggests alcohol was served at the party, but it couldn’t be ascertained if Dahiya was among those where were drinking.

The engineering graduate served as a police officer in Himachal Pradesh for over three years before writing the UPSC exam and qualifying for the Indian Revenue Service. He worked as an assistant commissioner with the Customs and Central Excise in Hyderabad until last August, before attempting the UPSC exam again.

This time he was ranked 53rd, a commendable feat as thousands of candidates write the tough test for the central administrative, police and allied services. Dahiya received the “director’s gold medal” during his IAS training.

His wife Pragya is also preparing for the IAS. A family member said he was helping her clear the exam.

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