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Archer Boro ends her life at Pune camp

Pratima Boro

Guwahati/ New Delhi: Promising Assam archer Pratima Boro committed suicide on Friday morning at an ongoing national team selection camp in Pune, spurring the Archery Association of Assam (AAA) to demand a probe into the circumstances that led to her death.

The 22-year-old, a resident of Kokrajhar district, was found hanging by a bedsheet from the ceiling fan of her hostel room on the Army Sports Training Centre premises. She was allegedly depressed.

Pratima’s body was discovered after her fellow archers, including her state-mate and roommate Himani Boro, went looking for her when she did not turn up for the morning drill.

“Pratima had participated in the practice session early in the morning but skipped the next session. She then had her lunch. Thereafter she retired to her room,” said a source from the national camp in Pune. “We are shocked. All the archers are in a state of shock at the moment,” added the source.

The selection camp had started on April 10 and will end on June 10.

Since the AAI is currently under suspension for not following the sports code, the camp is being held in Army camp instead of SAI centre.

“The circumstances under which she is stated to have taken the drastic step are not convincing. We suspect foul play. Therefore, we have sought a thorough probe by a competent official,” AAA president Jayanta Boro told The Telegraph in Guwahati.

“Besides, it appears there were certain lapses in running the camp like keeping enough surveillance,” he said.

Jayanta said Pratima’s body had been sent for post-mortem and would be flown to the state tomorrow.

AAI secretary general Anil Kamineni is currently in Pune. He said the local police was investigating the case. Coach Ravi Shankar said: “We have no idea why Pratima took such a drastic step. It’s a huge loss for Indian archery.”

Dola Banerjee, who has been training with Pratima in Pune, said she was shocked when she came to know of the incident.

“Everything looked normal in morning as she trained with us in the first session till 7 am.

“But she did not turn up in the 9 am session, saying she was not feeling well. We never had a hint that something was wrong. Everything was normal till we got the shocking news.”

A Tata Archery Academy, Jamshedpur product, Pratima was a NF Railway employee and trained at the SAI centre in Guwahati.