Sports Authority of India Director General Injeti Srinivas on Saturday said that he would not completely rule out ‘foul play’ in suicide incident of four female trainees at the SAI Center in Alapuzha but made it clear that it was not the job of his agency or the government to decide on what led them to take the extreme step.
In a tragic turn of events, a young athlete Aparna Ramabhadran died and three of her colleagues were admitted to hospital under critical conditions after they ate a poison fruit under an apparent suicide pact following alleged harassment by their seniors at the Water Sports Centre of the SAI in Alapuzha.
Srinivas, who made a one-day visit to Kerala for an on spot ‘administrative’ assessment after the shocking incident, said that he cannot pre-empt the investigative work of the police or the judicial process by commenting on the reasons of the suicide.
"It is possible that there were some foul play. Something did happen. But would that lead to a situation to compel the young girls to take the extreme step of suicide, that law will decide. I had gone for an on spot administrative assessment on directives of Sports Minister. I will submit a report to the Sports Minister and he will take a call on what we need to do on our part," Srinivas, who returned from Kerala, said.
"There was dying declaration, suicide pact, statement taken by the police from the surviving girls and other inmates of the SAI Center but how can I speak about the veracity of these things. These are not our job but of the law enforcement agencies.
"This is a case where multiple agencies, including police and Human Right Commission are investigating. I cannot pre-empt these investigations and judicial process," he added, pleading to report carefully on the sensitive issue.
Asked if there was harassment by the seniors as has been alleged which might have led to the suicide of the girls, Srinivas said, "I have enquired the SAI warden and spoken to the other inmates at the center but they did not say anything about it (alleged harassment by seniors."
"I also visited the boys hostel and talked to the boys and they could not figure what could have gone wrong. All my enquiries reveal that they could not find the reason (of suicide)," he added.