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National wrestler tragically dies due to electrocution at Jharkhand stadium

Nidhi Iyer
205   //    10 Aug 2017, 10:30 IST


What’s the story?

National-level wrestler Vishal Kumar Verma, passed away tragically due to a freak incident at the Jaipal Singh Stadium in Jharkhand on Tuesday afternoon. His death was a result of electrocution caused by a short circuit in the decrepit stadium building, which has been flooded ever since the monsoon started earlier this year.

The context

The indoor stadium was built in 1978 and houses the office of the Jharkhand State Wrestling Association (JSWA). The 25-year-old was visiting the state association’s office when the incident took place.

The stadium is said to be close to ruins, and the past few weeks of heavy rain had left the place flooded.

Heart of the matter

Verma was found unconscious on the flooded bathroom floor at the state association office around 2 pm on Tuesday. Reports on the Telegraph state that a loose wire was found hanging in the washroom, which could be the potential reason for the electrocution.

It has been furthermore discovered upon preliminary investigation by the police that Verma was actually trying to help clear water out using a water pump at the time of the incident, and the faulty wire was indeed the prime cause of the wrestler’s tragic death.

Although Verma was immediately rushed to the Ranchi Sadar Hospital, he succumbed to the trauma on his way there.

While the loss is irreparable, the association has announced a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh for his mourning family. In his family of six members including three unmarried sisters, Verma was the sole bread earner.

Speaking to the media about Verma’s performance in his field since he started his career way back in 2005, Bholanath Singh, the secretary and coach of Jharkhand’s wrestling association, calls him the most trusted grappler they had.

Verma, who recently finished fourth in the senior nationals this year, had been showing both passion and potential for the sport and represented the state in various prestigious national championships.

Singh claims that the municipal corporation was to be blamed for the dilapidated conditions of the building especially during the rains.

Despite consistent efforts of renovation by the RMC, it is common for the place to get flooded every year with the onset of monsoon. Another anonymous official stated that the RMC have labeled the building as risky and yet it continues to house players and function as a regular office.

The general manager of Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam (JBVNL), on the other hand, cleared the JBVNL of any mistakes after an executive engineer checked the site thoroughly, claiming that the fault was with the internal wiring in the building and not from the power connection provided by them.

What’s next?

While the compensation has been announced, the association continues to push the state government to provide a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh to the family. The association has vouched to provide them Rs. 10,000 until one of Verma’s four sisters are able to secure a job.

Author’s take

While placing blame is futile, there is no doubt that this is a case of sheer negligence and has now cost a precious life. The authorities needs to take this as an important wake up call, and act swiftly to ensure such an incident is never repeated. 

Nidhi Iyer
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