Athlete Hangs Himself At Delhi Stadium; "Sister Screamed," Says Official
Palender Chaudhary, an 18-year-old Sprinter who represented India at international level, died in Delhi's Safdarjung hospital today morning after he allegedly attempted suicide in his athletics academy at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium yesterday.
Palender was found hanging from a ceiling fan inside his hostel room and was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday night by his coach and academy staff. The doctors declared him dead on Wednesday morning. No suicide note has been found.
The Sports Authority of India, which runs the academy, has ordered an internal inquiry following the incident.
"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 told news agency PTI.
While the Authority said that the reason behind his suicide was monetary issues with his family, the family maintains that his equation with them was fine.
"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," the Authority's Director General said.
"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," she added.
Palender's cousin Poonam said that the family got to know about the incident in the morning and the Authority's claims of a fight with the father or sister are baseless.
The sprinter's father Mahesh Pal told news agency ANI that he needed money. "I assured him that I will give him the money. Don't know what happened later. I've no complaints against the people at the stadium."
His fellow trainees and staff at the stadium were shocked as Palender showed no signs of depression while training through the day. He finished his training by 5:30 pm and attempted suicide an hour later, a Sports Authority of India official said.
"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 his native place in Aligarh. Our officers will also accompany his body to ensure smooth conduct of his last rites," the official said,a dding that no one knows 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," the official added.
Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who is in Rajasthan, has been informed and he has expressed his grief on the incident.
Palender was living in the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium's hostel since November 2016. He was training for 100 and 200 metre races.
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.
(With Inputs From ANI, PTI, IANS)