Ritika Phogat (17), a cousin of star wrestlers Geeta and Babita Phogat, allegedly died by suicide in Haryana’s Charkhi Dadri district after she lost a wrestling match.
According to reports, Phogat took part in the state-level sub-junior, junior women, and men wrestling competition at Lohagarh Stadium in Bharatpur, which was held between March 12 and 14.
In the final played on March 14, Phogat lost by just a single point and she could not ‘bear’. She hanged herself at around 11 on the night of March 15.
Haryana Police on Thursday confirmed the news of wrestler Ritika Phogat's death and have begun their investigation into the case, Charkhi Dadri District Superintendent of Police Ram Singh Bishnoi said. According to the police, she had been depressed about losing the finals by one point.
A native of a Jaipur village, Phogat was staying with her uncle and Dronacharya awardee Mahavir Singh Phogat in Charkhi Dadri’s Balali village under Jhojhu Kalan police station for the past four years, said Station House Officer (SHO) Dilbagh Singh to the media outlets.
Wrestling champion Geeta Phogat described Ritika, her maternal sister, as a “talented wrestler”.
“May Ritika, my little sister, my cousin, rest in peace. This is a very tragic time for my family. Ritika was a very able wrestler...don't know why she did this. Winning and losing is a part of life. We should never take such a step," she said in a tweet in Hindi.
Ritu Phogat also took to social media on Thursday to express her grief. “Rest in Peace choti behen Ritika. I still can't believe what just happened with you. Will miss you forever. Om Shanti,” Ritu wrote on Twitter.
Former Union minister Vijay Kumar Singh also took to Twitter to condole Phogat’s death.
“Terrible news that we lost #RitikaPhogat who had a brilliant career ahead. The world has changed from where it was some decades ago. Athletes are facing pressures which were not there earlier. An essential part of their training should be to deal with these pressures,” he said.
(Edited by Amrita Ghosh)