Odisha law student dies while playing football match in Calcutta

Ritwik Das, a 5th-year student, was part of a 50-member contingent from a law school

By Our Bureau in Bhubaneswar and Calcutta
  • Published 11.02.19, 3:10 AM
  • Updated 11.02.19, 9:31 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Ritwik Das (Picture from his Facebook album)

A 23-year-old student of National Law University Odisha collapsed and died on Saturday evening while playing football for his institution in an inter-university tournament at the SAI Complex in Salt Lake.

Ritwik Das, a fifth-year student, was part of a 50-member contingent from the law school participating in Invicta ’19, a sports competition organised by the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS).

The event started on February 8 and was to run till Sunday along with Outlawed ’19, the Calcutta institute’s annual festival. Both were suspended after Ritwik’s death, a member of the organising committee said.

According to a faculty member of the NUJS, Ritwik collapsed in the middle of a game. His teammates and a physiotherapist unsuccessfully tried to revive him before he was taken to AMRI Hospitals in Salt Lake, barely 500m away from the SAI Complex.

“He was taken to the hospital within 10 minutes but could not be saved,” the faculty member said.

An official at AMRI said Ritwik was declared dead on arrival around 3.50pm.

Ritwik was the son of Rashmi Ranjan Das, a joint secretary in the finance ministry, and mother Sumana Mohanty, a senior official of East Coast Railway in Bhubaneswar. The bereaved couple arrived in the city on Sunday and took their son’s body in a hearse to Bhubaneswar.

Their daughter Saranya Das works for a multinational company in Bangalore.

An officer of the Bidhannagar police commissionerate said a case of unnatural death had been registered but there was nothing to suggest that what happened on the ground was anything but a tragedy. “The young man just collapsed. He did not collide with any player and we have not received any report suggesting foul play.”

The findings of the post-mortem were not available till late on Sunday night.

According to a friend, Ritwik loved sport in general and was an accomplished football player. He was the convenor of his institution’s sports committee.

“Riki (Ritwik) was a very good football player and gelled well with everyone. He was instrumental in motivating all of us and getting sports equipment installed for our use on the campus. He had been coming to the NUJS fest since he joined law school. All of us are in a state of shock after his sudden death,” the student said.

Ritwik was a fan of the Premier League team Manchester United. His Facebook page has several photographs of the Manchester United players.

Ritwik’s uncle Siddharth Mohanty said his nephew, who was captaining the university team, felt some discomfort during the match but asked his teammates to continue with the match.

According to another member of the family, he had asthma but had managed to keep the medical condition under control through regular exercise and medication.

Manmeet Singh Goindi, director of SAI’s Eastern Centre, said the organisers of the law school festival had taken multiple facilities on rent till February 10.

“They had rented the football ground, cricket field, basketball and volleyball courts and the athletic track. The boy was rushed to the hospital as fast as we could and it is very unfortunate that he did not survive,” he said.