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One dead, three girls severely injured in an attempt to suicide in Kerala sports hostel

5/7/2015 6:02:56 PM

Thiruvananthpuram: A female athlete found dead along with three others who were unconscious in their room in hostel of the Water Sports Centre.  The girls were immediately rushed to a hospital in Alappuzha. The hostel is administered by the Sports Authority of India.

The four girls consumed a locally found poisonous fruit cerbera odollam, known as ‘othalanga’ in Malayalam. The plant bearing the fruit is also known as ‘suicide tree’.

According to family of the deceased of the 15-year-old Aparna Ramachandran, the four athletes were “under pressure” from warden and other senior players. “They were physically and mentally harassed. Aparna suffered injuries in an attack two weeks back when the coach thrashed her with an oar”, a family-member said.

The four were under training and were caught consuming alcohol and strict action was taken against them hence they may have taken the “extreme step” fearing further action, said hostel warden K Ragini. 

A sub-divisional magistrate took the statement of one of the girls who was in a condition to speak. A suicide note left in their room was jointly signed by all four. Kerala police is still investigating the case.

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