ROURKELA: Two women hockey players, one of them belonging to Sundargarh district, were found hanging from a tree under mysterious circumstances in a forest in adjacent Simdega district of Jharkhand on Sunday.
According to preliminary investigation, one of the deceased players, 23-year-old Sunandini Bage of Lachhra village in Gurundia block of Sundargarh was being privately trained by amateur coach Minakshi Purty and was staying with the latter at Hamirpur, here. The other girl, Shraddha Salem Soreng (14) of Bhukumunda village in Simdega was a Class IX student of St Merry School at Birmitrapur in Sundargarh. They developed friendship due to their love for hockey.
Shraddha’s father Rajesh Soreng said his daughter on Saturday left for school in an auto-rickshaw, but did not return. Sunandini was frequently visiting Shraddha and both used to go out for playing hockey, he said, adding that he has no clue about what happened to them and under what circumstances they hanged themselves.
The incident came to light when some villagers from Simdega found the bodies hanging from a single rope tied to a tree and informed police.Simdega SDPO Raj Kishore said prima facie it appeared to be a case of suicide and post-mortem report is awaited to ascertain the exact cause of their death.
He said police are also looking into other angles such as foul play and investigation is on. Jharkhand police also recovered Sharaddha’s schoolbag having another piece of rope, a knife and a lighter from the spot.
Police said they found no struggle mark at the spot or any external injury marks on the bodies.