Kerala HC asks Centre to explain why athlete Chitra was excluded

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Kochi, July 27 (IANS) The Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the Centre to explain the reason why state athlete P.U. Chitra was left out of the national squad despite qualifying for next month’s World Athletics Championship.

The court was acting on a petition filed by her coach N.S. Sijin.

It asked the Centre to inform the court on Friday of the process of qualification, and if the Centre has the right to intervene in such matters, and if it had, then to explain which are the relevant provisions in the rules.

The court also asked the Centre to explain the source of funds of the various sports organisations.

Earlier this week, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed unhappiness at the manner in which Chitra was left out and wrote to the Centre.

He also informed that the state government will do everything it can to provide all the necessary help as Chitra comes from a very poor background.

Chitra hails from Palakkad in Kerala. Her parents are daily wage-earning labourers who work in farmlands.

On Thursday too, the two were seen engaged in manual labour, unaware of what was happening in the Kerala High Court.

A long distance runner, Chitra rose to stardom at the national school meet in Ranchi in 2014. Since then, she has won several laurels. She won gold at the South Asian Games, besides winning the gold medal at the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships 2017 at Bhubaneswar in the women’s 1,500 metres event.

–IANS

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