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Oct 21, 2019-Monday



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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Athlete commits suicide at JLN premises, SAI orders inquiry

Hailing from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, the athlete was brain dead by the time he was rushed to the Safdarjung Hospital, and could not be revived.

other-sports Updated: Nov 15, 2018 11:16 IST
New Delhi
Outside view of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi
Outside view of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi(Hindustan Times)

Palinder Chaudhary, an 18-year-old athlete who represented India at international level, committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at the capital’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, prompting the Sports Authority of India to order a “departmental inquiry”.

Hailing from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, the athlete was brain dead by the time he was rushed to the Safdarjung Hospital, and could not be revived.

“We have ordered a departmental inquiry as the incident happened in our premises. The inquiry will be headed by Secretary SAI Swarn Singh Chabra and it should be completed within a week,” SAI Director General Neelam Kapur said.

A senior police officer said no suicide note has been recovered and they probing the reason for such an extreme step.

Palinder always dreamt of representing India in the Olympics and had even got the Olympic symbol tattooed on his right hand, said his mentor-cum-friend Ajeet Rawat, who found it hard to believe that he had allegedly committed suicide.

“He had set his sights on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and was preparing for it. He would also say if he missed out on a 2020 berth, he would try for the 2024 Paris Olympics,” Rawat said.

Mahesh Pal, the father of the athlete, who allegedly hanged himself to death, said he does not know what went wrong and why his son took such an extreme step.

“I had spoken to him on Tuesday at around 3 pm. He wanted me to send him some money. I was out for a few days. I had assured him that I would send him the money. He spoke very normally. Everything seemed fine. I don’t know what went wrong and in what circumstances he took this step”, Pal said.

Apparently, he took the extreme step after an argument with his father over monetary issues, the top SAI official said.

His fellow trainees and staff at the stadium were shocked as the athlete showed no signs of depression while training through the day.

Kapur said,”Preliminary, it seems a family matter related to monetary issues. What we came to know is that the boy had an argument with his father in the morning on phone after which his sister came to meet him in evening. He took the step in front of his sister after threatening her. She came out screaming and our staff immediately went there and brought him down.”

Palinder, who was residing in room No.69 of JLN Stadium hostel since November 2016 and was training for 100 and 200 metre races, came back to his room at 5.30 in the evening and committed suicide half an hour later.

“It is a very sad and tragic incident. We are extending all possible help to the family and have arranged for the transportation of his body to Aligarh. Our officers will also accompany his body to ensure smooth conduct of his last rites,” said Kapur.

Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who is in Rajasthan, has been informed and he has expressed his grief on the incident.

In 2017, he was selected for the Asian Youth Championship in Bangkok and won gold medal in relay. He also participated at the World Youth Championship last July.

“He was alive when he was taken to Safdarjung but was brain dead and doctors couldn’t revive him. After initial treatment, he was taken to hospital half an hour later. He was in emergency,” another SAI official said.

He added, “His room mate and all the trainees and staff at JLN stadium were completely surprised by his act as the entire day he trained and showed no signs of depression.

“Nobody knows the reason why he took such a step. All top SAI officials are in Safdarjung just to ensure the postmortem is done at the earliest and body is handed over to his family at the earliest. It is now a police case and they will investigate into it.”

First Published: Nov 14, 2018 23:00 IST

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