Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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All does not appear to be too well with the working of the  Sports Authority of India (SAI) hostel at Alappuzha, Kerala. This is borne out by the fact that a 15-year-old female athlete died on Thursday and three others are battling for their lives after a mass suicide attempt. A suicide note, signed by all the four, states that  "small mistakes have been blown up” by theirv tormentors. This is indeed disturbing because the  incident  has  brought the country’s government-run sports programme under a cloud. The authorities are trying their best to suppress facts  but with  preliminary investigations hinting at ragging as the trigger for the mass suicide attempt at the  SAI hostel, the matter was raised in Parliament  and serious concern was expressed by the MPs over the tragedy which is not yet over as three of the girls are still not out of danger.The Union sports ministry has ordered a probe and promised stringent action against any official lapses. Whether one may like it or not but there is no doubt that the incident  can be described as one of the worst ones if not the  “worst” in  SAI ‘s  history.One cannot forget that last year too SAI  had faced a scandal after gymnasts training for the Incheon Asian Games accused a coach of sexual harassment in Delhi.  SAI director general I Sriniwas has given an assurance in Delhi that  strict action would be taken if there  is evidence of  “official apathy or involvement”

  The suspense continues. .Doctors at the Alappuzha medical college hospital authorities have said that the girls – undergoing training in kayaking and canoeing -- had consumed a locally found poisonous fruit Cerbera odollam, the plant of which is also known as the ‘suicide tree’ because of its known toxicity. Kerala   sports minister Thiruvanchur Radhakrishnan, who visited the hospital,  says that  the condition of the three athletes  is serious with two of them put on pacemakers. The  Alapuzha district collector N Padmakumar too  is being very cautious when he says that “we have to keep our fingers crossed”, t hat  “we cannot say that the three -- aged 14, 16 and 17 -- have overcome the crisis.” It will take two or three more days for the position to become clear. Police say that   they have recovered a suicide note from the hostel and that suspected ragging  is  the prime reason behind the incident though the hostel warden K Ragini claims that  the girls were caught consuming alcohol and reprimanded. Others say that they had only consumed beer.
 Members of the family of the deceased, 15-year-old Aparna Ramachandran, say that  the four athletes were “under pressure” from warden and other senior players. One of them has revealed that ‘they  were physically and mentally harassed” and that. “ Aparna suffered injuries in an attack two weeks back when the coach thrashed her with an oar.”   The four girls were teased by seniors after the reprimand by the hostel authorities.Hostel warden, however, feels that  the girls may  have taken the “extreme step” fearing further action.The incident has already taken political colours with the students’ wing of the CPM staging a march to the SAI centre on Thursday and demanding strict against “errant” officials. It would be interesting to see what the surviving girls have to say once they gain consciousness and are in a position to make a stratement.. A  sub-divisional magistrate has taken the statement of one of the girls who was able to speak. The state human rights commission has also suo motu registered a case The SAI centre in Alapzuah – which has 62 students – provides training to students in rowing, kayaking and canoeing.

 


 

Snippets

A headline in a Hindi daily said: ‘IAS adhikarion ka Sasural Prem’. But what’s wrong with it? They are fond of their ‘sasurals’ and are not hunting for extra-marital fun.

 

 

Hafiz  Sayeed says that Lakhvi  is innocent. What else can you expect one killer to say for his co-killer?

 

 

An army officer was arrested for raping a girl. Will he say in self-defence: ‘Oh, I thought she was an enemy spy!’

 

 

Nitish Kumar was prevented from visiting Nepal by the Modi Government. Why would Modi permit that and allow Nitish to steal the limelight from him?

 

 

But Nepal has asked  all foreign helpers to leave the quake-battered country.  Does  Nepal suspect  some of them to be foreign spies or conspirators in the garb of helpers?

 

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And, by the way, how could Nepal be sure that some mischievous elements  won’t  to harm the country by packing bombs in the relief bundles?

 

Incidentally in what category will the Nepalese place a country that does not know that Nepalese don’t touch beef?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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