According to several media reports, Ritika Phogat, the maternal cousin of Geeta and Babita Phogat reportedly committed suicide after losing the final match of a wrestling tournament. Multiple media reports claim that the reason behind suicide was the embarrassment that Ritika would had to face due to her loss in the match.
Ritika was a state-level wrestler and was competing in the sub-junior, junior women, and men wrestling competition at Lohagarh Stadium in Bharatpur. The competition started on 12th March and the finals were scheduled for 14th March.
Reportedly, Ritika fought her way to the finals of the tournament and lost the decider by the narrowest of margins. The shock of the defeat reportedly triggered her to take the extreme action of ending her life.
Reports state that Mahavir Phogat, the father of the Phogat sisters was also present at the tournament.
Ritika, a resident of Jaitpur village in Rajasthan’s, Jhunjhunu had been learning and practicing wrestling for over five years at Mahavir Phogat Sports Academy in Haryana.
Haryana’s Charkhi Dadri District, Police Superintendent, Ram Singh Bishnoi released a statement stating that investigation into Ritika’s death has started.
“Ritika, wrestler and cousin of Babita Phogat, died allegedly by suicide on March 17. The reason behind it might have been her defeat at a recent wrestling tournament in Rajasthan. Investigation underway,” Ram Singh Bishnoi said.
Vijay Kumar Singh, Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, was one of the first to confirm the news of Ritika’s suicide on social media.
“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,” Singh tweeted.
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.
— General Vijay Kumar Singh (@Gen_VKSingh) March 18, 2021