THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Sports Authority of India (SAI) director-general Injeti Srinivas on Thursday described the death of a 15-year-old trainee at SAI Water Sports Centre, Alappuzha, as the ‘’most shocking incident in the organisation’s three-decade-long existence’’.
“The Sports Authority of India feels like a bereaved organisation. This is the most tragic and shocking incident in organisation’s three-decade-long existence,” he said, reacting to the incident where four Sports Authority of India athletes attempted suicide late on Wednesday over alleged harassment by their seniors at the centre.
“We’ve been following up with the state authorities in Kerala as well as the Sports Authority of India officials, but our priority is to save the lives of the other three trainees,” Srinivas said in a press conference at New Delhi.
“We have tried to ensure that they are getting best medical attention,” he added.
“If anything is found wanting on our side and anyone found at fault, then the strictest of action will be taken,” Srinivas said, adding that the Sports Authority of India as an organisation has responsibilities and it will not be running away from these responsibilities.
Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had earlier directed the Sports Authority of India director- general to rush to the spot and prepare a factual report. “I have specifically directed him to ensure that the best possible treatment is made available to the three girls who are undergoing treatment,” Sonowal said.
“The young girl who has died was a very promising sportsperson. It is a big loss to the country in general and the SAI and sports fraternity in particular. I convey my condolences to the bereaved family,” Sonowal said of the deceased Aparna Ramachandran.
“While law will take its own course, at this stage I would only like to say that if anyone from the Sports Authority of India is found guilty in connection with this tragic incident, strictest possible action will be taken against him or her,” the minister added.
Meanwhile, state Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan also directed Sports Secretary M Sivasankar to carry out a probe into the incident.
Thiruvanchoor, who was visiting the Government TD Medical College Hospital in Alappuzha, also added that the family of the deceased student would be adequately compensated.
“Trainees undergoing treatment would be provided the necessary assistance and the government will bear their medical expenses,” he said.
State Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala has ordered the police to launch an investigation into the incident. “I have directed Kochi range IG M R Ajith Kumar to go to Alappuzha and gather first hand information on the incident,” he said in Kochi on Thursday.
The Kerala State Human Rights Commission also said that it will look into the incident.