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Faridkot: 17-year-old international shooter, who won multiple medals, dies by suicide

The teen, identified as Khush Seerat Kaur Sandhu, had won multiple national medals, police said, but was allegedly unhappy with her performance in the recently concluded 64th National Shooting Championship.

Khush Seerat Kaur Sandhu (Express photo)

A 17-year-old international-level shooter allegedly died by suicide on Thursday morning by shooting herself with her licenced pistol inside her Faridkot residence in Punjab.

The teen, identified as Khush Seerat Kaur Sandhu, had won multiple national medals, police said, but was allegedly unhappy with her performance in the recently concluded 64th National Shooting Championship.

“We got a call from the control room about a girl allegedly having shot herself at her residence in Gali number 4 in Faridkot’s Harinder Nagar on Thursday early morning. On reaching there, we found the body of 17-year-old Khush Seerat Kaur Sandhu. She had shot herself with her .22 pistol and died of a headshot wound. According to the family, she was disappointed with her performance in the nationals held in Delhi earlier this week. We have handed the body to the family after autopsy and have launched the investigations. No suicide note has been recovered,” Inspector Harjinder Singh, SHO of Faridkot City police station, said. Faridkot Police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

As per details, though Sandhu had not won any medal in the individual category in
the National Shooting Championship in Delhi , she had won a team medal in the junior civilian women team event.

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Sandhu’s father, Jaswinder Singh Sandhu, works as a teacher in a government school, and her mother Navdeep Kaur Sandhu works in the Punjab Agricultural University’s research centre. “Her performance was not at par during this year’s nationals. However, she did not betray any visible signs of disappointment. Had she shared what she was going through with us, we could have counseled her.

The incident took place when she was studying on the ground floor, where her grandmother was sleeping. The rest of us were sleeping on the first floor. We got to know in the morning,” said Khushseerat’s father Jaswinder Singh Sandhu to The Indian Express.

While the youngster had started her career as a swimmer and won medals at the national level, she graduated to shooting four years ago at Faridkot. In 2019, Sandhu won a total of 11 medals in individual and team events in the 25m Pistol and 10m Air Pistol events. Apart from winning the gold medal in the 25m pistol junior women civilian category, Sandhu had also bagged the gold medal in the 10m Air Pistol sub-youth women category. She also finished a credible fifth in the 25m pistol junior women final, where 2018 CWG champion Manu Bhaker won the title.

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Apart from that, Sandhu helped the Punjab team claim seven medals in different categories in the team events. “She was a very good shooter and would also encourage other youngsters to opt for the sport. She would also talk about her desire to edge out Manu Bhaker one day to win the gold medal. It’s unfortunate to know that her story ended in such a tragic way,” said Harbans Singh, former DSO and neighbor of the family.

Sandhu had also competed in the ISSF Junior Shooting Championships in Lima, Peru, earlier this year. “She always showed willingness to learn. When we returned from Delhi after the nationals earlier this week, she was bit sad. But we did not know she would take this tragic step. We invite sports psychologists twice a year to counsel our shooters. It’s tragic to see the loss of life of such a talented kid,”said shooting coach, Sukhraj Kaur.

Sandhu’s death was the second such alleged suicide by an international-level shooter this year. In September this year, Mohali shooter Namanveer Singh Brar, 28, had died by suicide after shooting himself at his Mohali residence.

First published on: 10-12-2021 at 07:48:54 am
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