18-yr-old sprinter hangs himself in front of sister at Delhi’s JLN stadium

New Delhi: Palender Chaudhary, an 18-year-old sprinter who represented India at international level, died in Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital on Wednesday morning after he allegedly attempted suicide in his athletics academy at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday.

He was found hanging from the ceiling at 6:30pm on Tuesday after he had come back from training around 5:30pm. He was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday night by his coach and academy staff. The doctors declared him dead on Wednesday morning. No suicide note has been found.

The Sports Authority of India, which runs the academy, has ordered an internal inquiry following the incident.

“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 told news agency PTI.

While the Authority said that the reason behind his suicide was monetary issues with his family, the family maintains that his equation with them was fine.

“Preliminary it seems a family matter related to monetary issues. What we came to know is that the boy had an argument with his father in the morning on phone after which his sister came to meet him in evening,” the Authority’s Director General said.

“He took the step in front of his sister after threatening her. She came out screaming and our staff immediately went there and brought him down,” she added.

The police are yet to ascertain the exact reason for his suicide and are investigating the matter.

His father however, revealed that his son was in need of money and spoke to him regarding this over the phone.

“He told me he needed money. I assured him that I will give him the money. Don’t know what happened later. I’ve no complaints against the people at the stadium,” said Mahesh Pal, father of Palender Chaudhary.

Palender was living in the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium’s hostel since November 2016. He was training for 100 and 200 metre races.

He was found hanging from the ceiling fan of his hostel room on 2nd floor by a friend who visited him. She raised an alarm and cut the scrap bandage by a knife. His coach and other guards took him to medical centre of Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and from there, after initial treatment, he was brought to Safdarjung Hospital for treatment.

Chaudhary had recently got enrolled in the Indian army through sports quota and was set to leave for training.

In 2017, he was selected for the Asian Youth Championship in Bangkok and won gold medal in relay. He also participated at the World Youth Championship last July.

(With agency inputs)