January 25, 2015 9:01:29 am
A recruit at the Police Training Centre for women in Khandala died at Sassoon hospital here in the early hours of Saturday and two other recruits are under treatment at the hospital. Officials said they were admitted to the hospital for different illnesses at different times and it had nothing to do with either the rigours of training or any punishment at the academy, as alleged by some.
Trainee Avishka Naresh Dongre (28) from Bhandara district died days after surgery, reportedly for tuberculosis of the spinal chord. Recruits Kavita Shatrughna Wadekar (20) and Harshali Prithviraj Devale (23) are under treatment at Sassoon hospital for other diseases.
Ravindra Sengaonkar, IPS officer and principal of PTC, Khandala, visited Sassoon hospital. He said, “Training is on for the 23rd batch of about 800 woman recruits who are to join the state police as constables. The death of Avishka Dongre is unfortunate. She was initially given treatment at civil hospital. On January 5, she was admitted to Sassoon. She died today.”
“I have been trying since June 2013 to provide proper training and facilities to recruits at PTC, Khandala. There is no inhuman treatment (as alleged). Hygiene is good. Besides, physical activities and punishment are an integral part of training. I have done front rolls and back rolls as punishment when I was a police recruit,” he said.
“We make recruits fit to handle criminals and cope with working hours of 12 to 15 hours a day through training. There several recruits from rural and poor background. Some of them have low bone-density leading to medical problems. We give them treatment. We ensure they become tough and fit,” he added. A police source said that training at Khandala is stricter than at other training centres in the state.
PTC Khandala has submitted a report to the office of additional director general of police (training). It stated that proper treatment and financial support were provided to Avishka and medical tests revealed she was suffering from tuberculosis of the spinal cord.
Dr Ajay Chandanwale, Sassoon hospital dean, said, “MRI scan, ultrasonography on Avishka revealed pus in spinal cord. Experts were providing treatment to her. A surgery was done. She has been losing strength since January 11 and died around 2 am today.”
“Kavita is suffering from a breathing ailment and cough. She is recovering and will be discharged soon. Harshali has pain in the knees. Doctors are looking after her. The three women recruits were admitted to hospitals for different reasons and on different days. We cannot say whether they suffered from exertion,” he said.
Media persons were not allowed to meet Kavita and Harshali at Sassoon hospital on Saturday. Police were deployed outside the ward. Avishka’s body was handed over to family members. They reportedly took the body to their native place. No family member was available for comment.
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