India: Handball player commits suicide after she is denied free college hostel room

India: Handball player commits suicide after she is denied free college hostel room

Kumari's parents alleged foul play by head of physical education department, Gursharan Singh Gill. The girl's father claimed students who paid bribe to the administration are staying in the hostel. Photograph: (Reuters)

Patiala, Punjab, India Aug 21, 2016, 08.24 PM (IST)
A 20-year-old national handball player committed suicide on Saturday after college authorities denied her free hostel accommodation in India's northern Punjab state.

Pooja Kumari was a second-year student at Khalsa College in Patiala city and hailed from an economically weaker family. 

She was disheartened on being denied a hostel room along with some other girls after returning from their summer break.

Kumari's parents alleged foul play by the head of the physical education department, Gursharan Singh Gill.

Police recovered two suicide notes from near the body of the deceased. One of the letters was addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking for help for her family.


"The college was closed for summer vacations. When the classes resumed, students told Mr Gursharan Singh Gill (head of the physical education department) that they had come to the hostel to play. But he asked them to return to their homes. When students questioned him, he told them that students from wealthy families and from far off towns could only afford the hostel. But students who paid bribe to the administration are the ones who are staying there now. She (Pooja Kumari) was expelled from the hostel. When she came back home, she was upset about it and narrated the whole incident to me," Kumari's father, Prabhu Chauhan, said.

However, college authorities refuted the allegations and said Kumari never asked them for hostel facilities.

Police recovered two suicide notes from near the body of the deceased. One of the letters was addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking help for her family.

A case of abetment of suicide has been lodged against Gill. Further investigation is underway in the case.

Pooja, a handball player for six years, represented Punjab in the 2011-12 national games.

(Reuters) 

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Authorities refuted the allegation, said Pooja Kumari had not asked for a hostel room

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