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Athlete commits suicide on JLN premises, SAI orders probe

Athlete commits suicide on JLN premises, SAI orders probe
Highlights

Palinder Chaudhary, an 18yearold athlete who represented India at international level, committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at the...

New Delhi: 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. 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 under 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.

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