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Attempt to suicide: Athletes stable, senior girls deny charges
Alappuzha: The three young woman athletes, who survived an attempted suicide bid after alleged harassment by seniors at the SAI Centre in Kerala, are stable now even as a medical board was constituted by the Sports Ministry to investigate the incident.
“We have constituted a medical board (for the inquiry into the incident) and our priority is to save the lives of those athletes (girls),” Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on the sidelines of a conference in Delhi.
In a tragic turn of events, a young athlete Aparna Ramabhadran died and three of her colleagues were battling for life after they ate a poison fruit under an apparent suicide pact following alleged harassment by seniors at the Sports Authority of India centre in Kerala.
All the four were undergoing training at the Water Sports Centre of the SAI in Alappuzha.
A stunned Sports Ministry swung into action by ordering an inquiry and directing Sports Authority of India Director General Injeti Srinivas to rush to Kerala for an on the spot assessment.
The condition of the three athletes, who survived the attempt, is said to be stable.
Meanwhile, Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala also visited the family of Aparna. They also handed over a detailed complaint with regards to the mental and physical harassment meted out to the girls by two senior girls and coach.
Chennithala later told reporters that ASP Merin Joseph will also be part of the SIT, which is probing the case.
Alapuzha Medical college Hospital superintendent Santosh Raghavan told PTI that the three girls continue to be critical, but their condition had stabilised. However, there is no specific antidote for the poison they consumed.
“We are trying to treat the main target organ, the heart. Teleconference with medical experts of the AIIMS, Delhi, was being held,” he said.
One of the senior girls, against whom allegations of harassment were made by the family members of the deceased rower, denied before television channels that they had done anything wrong.
“We do not know why such allegations have been made,” she said, adding she herself had taken the girls in an autorickshaw to the hospital after one of them complained of uneasiness at the hostel on Wednesday night.
SAI Director General Injeti Srinivas on Friday gave a solatium of Rs five lakh to the family of rowing athlete Aparna. Srinivas, who visited the grieving parents also offered job to a family member.
Those undergoing treatment at the hospital, whose condition is said to be stable, were given Rs 25,000 each and also ensured the best possible medical help.
Aparna, the girl who lost her life, had been undergoing training at the water sports training centre of Sports Authority of India for the past five years.
Her mother Geeta said her daughter continued in the hostel despite the harassment because of the family's circumstances.
Aparna wanted to get a job to provide a better life to her younger brother, an eighth standard student at a local school. While her father is a worker in a house boat, her mother is an anganwadi worker. The family's hopes rested on the rowing champion, who had brought laurels to the state.