Alapuzha (Kerala): Sports Authority of India Director General Injeti Srinivas yesterday visited three girls battling for life at a hospital here after an apparent suicide bid over alleged harassment by seniors at a SAI centre.
Srinivas, directed by Sports Ministry to rush here for an on-the-spot assessment in the wake of the tragic incident which left one girl dead, arrived at Kochi by a flight and reached here by road late tonight.
The SAI Director said treatment by experts would be ensured for the girls.
Assistance from All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, would also be sought, he told reporters. Four athletes, all undergoing training at the Water Sports Centre of the SAI here, ate the fruit and one of them, a 15-year old, died and the others have been admitted to the Alapuzha Medical College Hospital.
In a horrific incident on Thursday, four young female athletes attempted suicide at the Sports Authority of India centre in Kerala, prompting a rattled Sports Ministry to launch an inquiry and promise the strictest possible action against any SAI official found guilty.
One of the athletes, a 15-year-old, died early and three others, all undergoing training at Water Sports Centre of SAI in Alapuzha, were hospitalised after they ate a poisonous fruit in an apparent suicide pact following alleged harassment by seniors.
The Sports Ministry swung into action by ordering an inquiry and directing SAI Director General Injeti Srinivas to rush to Kerala for an on the spot assessment.
The girls are suspected to have consumed the fruit, locally called 'Othalanga', at 3pm yesterday inside the SAI women's hostel. They were rushed to a hospital around 7pm after they fainted and were later taken to Alapuzha Medical College, where one of them died, the police said.
The girls were undergoing training at the Water Sports Centre of the SAI at nearby Punnamada. 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.
Alapuzha District Collector N Padmakumar, who visited the athletes undergoing treatment at the medical college hospital, said a detailed enquiry would be conducted into the incident.
A relative of Aparna, who died early today, alleged that the inmates of the SAI hostel were being physically tortured. "The girl was hit by her coach two days ago with an oar due to which she could not sit or stand", he alleged.
Meanwhile, protesting against the incident, activists of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of CPI (M), took out a march.