Millennium Post

Class IX student drowns in College Square pool

Kolkata: A Class IX student, who was a learner at a swimming club, drowned at the College Square pool on Sunday. He had gone into the pool area meant for the seniors, by crossing the demarcation line that was made by the club.

According to police sources, 17-year-old Mohammad Shahbaaz had come to the swimming club and started practicing at 8 am. Initially he swam in the designated pool for the beginners, but after a few minutes dived into the section having deep water meant for those who are adept in swimming.

His act went unnoticed and when he was spotted struggling in the water, it was too late. The trainers dived into the pool and fished him out of the water. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was declared brought dead.

Shahbaaz, a resident of Entally, had joined as a member of The Calcutta University Institute College Square (Vidyasagar Udyan) swimming section barely a week ago.

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has subsequently ordered a shutdown of all the swimming pools at College Square for an indefinite period. A case of unnatural death has been registered with the Amherst Street police station.

The club with which Shahbaaz was associated, refused to comment on the incident and shut the door on the face of our correspondent. The guardians who had accompanied their wards for swimming at the pool alleged negligence on the part of the trainers.

"The trainers often leave the swimmers on their own in the pool. They should keep an eye whether wanybody is encroaching the boundary and going to the deeper pool," a guardian said.

"Shahbaaz was wearing all the safety guards like red cap and swimming costume earmarked for the beginners. Knowingly or unknowingly, he had crossed the line meant and failed to cope with the water level," said Laltu Patra, assistant secretary of another club that conducts swimming sessions at the College Square pool.

The incident is a grim reminder of the death of ace swimmer Kajal Dutta in August 2017, amid allegations that he had got stuck in a platform built underwater by one of the swimming clubs without obtaining permission from KMC.

The pool was subsequently shut down and KMC drained out the water of the entire pool and demolished all such constructions. Swimming activities had resumed from April 2, last year.

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