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Silver in kitty, special lifter dies in train

Shock eclipsed the shine of nine state medals when a participant of Special Olympics National Powerlifting Championship, Patiala, suddenly died in train on his way back home to Jamshedpur on Sunday night.

Md Azharuddin (25), returning with a silver medal he won in squat at the national powerlifting meet, breathed his last inside a Tatanagar Jammu-Tawi Express coach between Allahabad and Mirzapur stations in Uttar Pradesh around 8.45pm on Sunday.

Post-mortem was performed at Mirzapur on Monday afternoon while the body will reach his Dhatkidih home on Tuesday morning by road in an air-conditioned ambulance.

The autopsy report will arrive later this week.

“We are on our way. Everyone is grief-stricken,” coach Arun Dutta told The Telegraph over phone from Mirzapur.

Jharkhand Special Olympics assistant area director Satbir Singh Sahota said Azharuddin complained of nausea and was escorted to the toilet. There, he fell unconscious.

“Though escorts Dutta and J.V.M. Raju tried artificial respiration and shifted him to the nearest three-tier AC compartment, Azharuddin could not be revived,” Sahota said.

GRP (Mirzapur) sent the body to hospital in the night. Azharuddin’s brothers Md Salauddin and Md Saif went to Mirzapur to complete formalities.

Bereaved father Md Sarfuddin Ansari, also the vice-president of Jharkhand State Handball Association, sobbed: “He was my unique child, the youngest of my three sons. He was in sound health, very jovial and had asked me to get him wafers, chocolates and juice.”

Special Olympics Bharat (SOB) chairman Satish Pillai and SOB (Jharkhand) area director Bailey Bodhanwalla expressed their condolences.

Jharkhand won nine medals — five gold, three silver and a bronze — at the meet held from June 4 to 7. Azharuddin apart, other winners were Charanjeev Das (gold in squat, benchpress and deadlift), Narul Hassan (gold in deadlift, silver in squat) and S. Umesh (gold in deadlift, silver in benchpress and bronze in squat).

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