18-year-old Indian sprinter, Palender Chaudhary was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his hostel room of the athletics academy at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday, November 13.
Palender had an argument with his father over the phone on Tuesday morning and was even visited by his sister at the JLN Stadium, an official from Sports Authority of India (SAI) Delhi center told ANI.
"I was told he had an argument on phone with his father in the morning yesterday. Later his sister came to talk to him too. Unfortunately, we could not save him despite our best efforts," ANI quoted the official as saying.
Initially, the teenage sprinter was identified as Parvinder but the news agency confirmed on Wednesday that it was Palender who had allegedly committed suicide in his hostel room.
The cause for the sprinter's death is yet to be ascertained and no suicide note was reportedly found during the inquiry.
Notably, Palender had been training at the SAI since 2016 and had represented India in 100 and 200m events. He also participated in the Asian Youth Athletics meet in 2017 in Bangkok.
The 18-year-old had recently enrolled in the Army through sports quota and was about to leave for training, according to India Today.
He took the step in front of his sister: SAI Director General
SAI Director General Neelam Kapur has confirmed that a departmental inquiry has been ordered and said they suspected "family matter related to monetary issues" as the cause of death.
Kapur also revealed that the sprinter took the drastic step in front of her sister after she arrived to meet him on Tuesday evening.
"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 the phone after which his sister came to meet him in the evening. 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," Kapur said, as quoted by the news portal.
Nonetheless, Palender's father, Mahesh Pal, confirmed that the sprinter had asked him money and that he is not sure what happened thereafter.
"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," the father of the deceased said.
Palender showed no signs of depression: SAI official
Delhi police told India Today they had received a call at 9 pm (IST) on Tuesday from Safdarjung Hospital about Palender's admission by an SAI coach, Harkamaljeet Singh.
Palender was residing in Room No. 68 at the JLN Stadium wherein he was found hanging in the evening.
He was taken to the medical center of JLN for initial treatment, after which he was shifted to Safdarjung Hospital. One of his friends raised an alarm upon seeing him hanging from the ceiling fan and also cut the crepe bandage with a knife.
Police have also confirmed that the doctors declared the sprinter dead on Wednesday morning.
An SAI official confirmed that Palender was alive while being taken to the hospital. He also revealed that the news of the sprinter's suicide came as a surprise to the fellow trainees and the staff at JLN as he had shown no signs of depression.
"He was alive when he was taken to Safdarjung but was brain dead and doctors couldn't revive him. After initial treatment, he was taken to hospital half an hour later. He was in emergency," the SAI official said.
"His roommate and all the trainees and staff at JLN stadium were completely surprised by his act as the entire day he trained and showed no signs of depression."