Cycle polo player Nida Fathima death in Nagpur: Kerala HC summons sport bodies, Kerala govt seeks probe

Kerala government on Friday wrote to Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde, demanding an inquiry into the death of Nida Fathima, the 10-year-old girl cycle polo player from Kerala who died at a Nagpur hospital on Thursday.

Nida, hailing from Ambalappuzha in Alappuzha district, was part of the Kerala contingent that went to Nagpur to take part in the National Cycle Polo Championship, which began on Thursday and allegedly faced discrimination at the hands of the association that organised the event.

“We have requested the Maharashtra government to probe the allegation that the girl did not receive adequate medical attention and promised all co-operation from the Kerala government,” Education Minister V Sivankutty said.

Also, the Kerala High Court on Friday admitted a contempt of court petition in connection with Nida’s death. The HC directed the secretaries of the Cycle Polo Federation of India and Cycle Polo Association of Kerala to appear in person on 12 January.

The Kerala Cycle Polo Association told the court that its team, including Nida Fathima, was permitted by the HC, in an order on 15 December, to participate in the national championship at Nagpur, but the players were not provided food or lodging by the Cycle Polo Federation of India. As a result, they had to be accommodated in a local dormitory and Nida got afflicted with food poisoning and died on Thursday morning.

Nida’s relatives said that she complained of uneasiness, started vomiting and went to hospital for a check-up. She was given an injection and died in the hospital some time later.

Her father has reached Nagpur and her post-mortem took place Friday.

Nida’s father, Shihabuddin, a driver, in his statement to the police, claimed there was negligence from the hospital. The matter has been referred to the Indian Medical Association, which will ascertain the veracity of the allegation.

Congress Kerala state president K Sudhakaran claimed that Nida Fathima and others faced discrimination and neglect from the federation as they had gone to attend the event with the help of a court order.