The police is yet to ascertain the reason behind 18-year-old sprinter Palendra Chaudhary’s alleged suicide at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) academy inside the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi on Tuesday. Chaudhary, who had won gold in the men’s relay at the 2017 Asian Youth Championships in Bangkok, was preparing to qualify for the Asian Championships next year and wanted to meet the qualifying norms at the next edition of the Federation Cup.
Chaudhary’s coach Harkamaljeet Singh told The Indian Express that the young sprinter had big plans and had recently given trials for Army and IAF. “He had a trial with the Indian Army at Jabalpur, and was asked to remove the tattoo, following which he was advised rest and could only manage to jog,” Singh was quoted as saying.
The official statement released by SAI said that Chaudhary attempted to kill himself by hanging from a ceiling fan in his hostel room. Chaudhary was found alive by his sister and other athletes after which he was rushed to the Safdarjung Hospital. He died in the hospital Tuesday.
There was no suicide note found in Chaudhary’s room and SAI has ordered an internal inquiry into the death.
SAI D-G Neelam Kapur said that the enquiry officer will speak to all people concerned – coaches, other athletes and his family members, especially his sister who had come to visit him that evening, to understand what may have led him to take this extreme step.
Chaudhary had also asked for more money from his father which he was promised. His father Mahesh Pal, told IE that Chaudhary had asked for Rs 15,000 to meet the monthly expenses and had also told him that he had a headache.
The 18-year-old athlete was selected by SAI in 2016 after his impressive performances at the U-16 level. However, he had suffered a couple of setbacks recently and didn’t win a medal the World U18 Youth Championships in Nairobi.