Four girls at Sports Authority of India (SAI) hostel attempted suicide after allegedly being harassed by a trainer in Kerala, a report said on Thursday.
One of the students has died and the other three are in critical condition.
All four reportedly consumed a poisonous fruit, locally called ‘Othalanga’.
One of them had won a gold medal in kayak event during the National Games, which took place this year.
The girls were undergoing training at the Water Sports Centre of the SAI at nearby Punnamada.
It was on Wednesday night that the girls were found poisoned in the SAI women’s hostel. They were rushed to the General Hospital and then to Medical College Hospital.
According to reports, students took the extreme step as they couldn’t bear the humiliation by the trainer after they were reportedly found in an inebriated state.
Relatives of the athletes alleged that the girls were being physically and mentally tortured by some seniors.
However, the hostel warden denied the charges and said they came to know about the condition of the girls only when they fainted. “None in the hostel tortured them”, she said.
Angry relatives of the girl who died said that unless an inquiry is ordered immediately and the guilty brought to book, they would block the national highway and not perform the last rites of their ward.
On the tragic incident SAI Director General, Injeti Srinivas, said “This is the most tragic and shocking incident in 3 decade long existence of SAI. We’ve been following up with State authorities & SAI officials, priority is to save their lives. What happened is that 4 of our girl trainees attempted suicide, info came to me yesterday midnight.”
“Police is investigating matter, sub divisional magistrate has taken deposition of one girl who is able to speak. Suicide note was left which was jointly signed, all this will have to be investigated,” Srinivas added further.
On the entire incident Sports Min Sarbananda Sonowal also expressed his disappointment. “Deeply aggrieved by incident that has happened in Kerala, young girl who died was a promising sportsperson,” stated Sonowal.