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Poison scare causes panic at GNS pool

Poison scare caused panic in Gomti Nagar Stadium swimming pool in Lucknow today soon after a lifeguard raised an alarm that the pool water contained some poison-like substance.
None | By Sharad Deep, Lucknow
UPDATED ON JUL 14, 2007 08:19 PM IST

Poison scare caused panic in Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar State Sports Complex (Gomti Nagar Stadium) swimming pool in Lucknow on Saturday morning soon after the lifeguard Satish raised an alarm that the pool water contained some poison-like substance.

The lifeguard claimed that as soon as he turned on the water filter plant to recycle pool water on Saturday morning as a routine, he found that water suddenly turned dark blue threw up froth containing many dead insects.

All this happened around at 7.00 this morning, the time when the pool is opened for public. Some of the swimmers were ready to dive, but before they could do so, a timely alarm by the lifeguard prevented a major tragedy.

He immediately informed all the concerned authorities, including the under transferred incharge of the stadium Jitendra Yadav, who himself was present at the stadium that time. Later the Director Sports Pramod Kumar also rushed the spot and took a stock of the situation. The footprints of some persons and a big packet, containing blue colour, were also found near the starting blocks.

The news spread like a fire and the trainees of almost all the games gathered around the pool. "I was ready to jump as I was unaware with the colour of the pool water, but before I could jump I was told not to do so by the lifeguard," said a regular swimmer Ranjit.

"It's an attempt to defame the State Government as well as the sports directorate," he said, instructing Jitendra Yadav to file a FIR in this regard with Gomti Nagar police. A case under Section 277 of IPC was lodged against unknown persons.

He also constituted a two-member probe panel, including Additional Director, Sports, Pawan Kumar and Deputy Director, Sports, Anil Kumar Banodha, who also visited the pool before its sealing by the police.

"The contaminated water is being sent for laboratory examination. Only after a report from the expert I would be in position to say anything on the issue," he told Hindustan Times.

Reacting sharply over the incident corporator Om Prakash Yadav, who is a petitioner in the cash against the State Government's move to takeover the stadium for the expansion of CM Mayawti's dream project Ambedkar Park, blamed the State Government for creating hurdles in the smooth function of the activities at the stadium.

"Police is already camping just outside the pool, and despite that such a criminal activity to pollute the water was done," he told Hindustan Times, adding, "I see it as a conspiracy of the State Government to stop the sports activities at the stadium to fulfill its mission."

Stadium sources confirmed that there was nothing wrong in the pool water on Friday evening when the pool was locked in the presence of stadium authorities after the routine training of the swimmers. "There was no laxity on the part of the stadium authorities as our own chaukidar was there to keep a watch on everyone in the stadium in the night," said Jitendra Yadav.

The breaking of a 30-feet boundary of the stadium was also the center of attraction for the sportspersons on Saturday morning. This has happened at a time when the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court in its ordered had asked the State Government to maintain status quo after its failed bid to overtake the stadium on Monday night.

"It's a pure case of contempt of court and we would certainly raise this issue when the case comes for hearing at the court on July 19," said the petitioner Om Prakash Yadav.

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