The concrete deck under which Kajal Dutta's body was found stuck in a bamboo mesh on Saturday. Picture by Pradip Sanyal
Aug. 12: The body of Kajal Dutta, who was feared to have drowned at the College Square pool where he had trained swimmers for decades, was found stuck between rows of bamboo poles under the water.
Swimmers of police's disaster management group found the 67-year-old retired customs officer's hand jutting out of the rows of poles under a concrete deck built by a swimming club in March. His body was pulled out around 3am today.
Dutta, who was part of the national swimming team in the early 1970s and had a trainer's certificate from the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala, had several injuries on his back, police said.
Nails on the bamboos could have resulted in the injuries, the police said.
The structure was supposed to have been removed before the pool was thrown open to learners and swimmers this summer. Members of at least six swimming clubs use the pool.
Swimming was the passion of Dutta, the first coach of Bengal's women water polo team and a life member of the 94-year-old Bowbazar Bayam Samity.
His recent obsession was to catch lobsters with his hands by scouring the pool. But he never took his catch home where he lived with his 88-year-old mother Milon Rani. He would give to club members, one of his friends at the Bayam Samity said.
Yesterday, he probably got trapped in the bamboo mesh while trying to catch a lobster, another friend said.
"The club that was building the concrete deck for its members were repeatedly told to complete the work by March," a member of the Bayam Samity said.
"The work got delayed and even after it was over, the bamboo structure wasn't removed. We lost a national-level swimmer to negligence."
A civic official said the matter would be investigated. Also, swimming would be stopped to test the pool water, he said.
An officers of Ahmerst Street police station said the police would wait for a formal complaint before starting investigations into Dutta's death.
The relatives of a patient who died at New Alipore's BP Poddar Hospital on Saturday lodged a complaint of medical negligence against the hospital with New Alipore police station. Hospital officials refused to say anything about the allegation.