IAS officer drowns in pool, family suspects foul play

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IAS officer

A pool side party of young bureaucrats turned tragic when a 30-year-old newly inducted IAS officer Ashish Dahiya, drowned while saving his colleague from drowning late on Monday night, at the Foreign Service Institute in South Delhi.

While Dahiya’s family has alleged foul play claiming he was an excellent swimmer, police have ruled out any such possibility.

Policeman-turned-bureaucrat, Dahiya was to leave for J&K soon for his first posting as an IAS officer.

Having arrived from the Indian Administrative Service training center in Mussoorie on Sunday, Dahiya, a former Deputy Superintendent of Police in Himachal Pradesh, had to leave for J&K for his first posting as an IAS. He was married for a year-and-a-half to his doctor (MBBS) wife Pragya Dahiya, who is also preparing for civil services.

The tragedy unfolded as Dahiya along with his batch-mates and a few IRS officer friends had gathered at the Foreign Service Institute at Ber Sarai area on Monday, to celebrate their convocation which had concluded a few hours before.

According to the police, Dahiya along with a few of his friends and a woman colleague, entered the pool.

While they were all partying, the woman suddenly lost balance and slipped in the water. Seeing her drown and panicking Dahiya and others rushed to rescue, while some others outside the pool, jumped in too.

“The men pulled the woman out of the water, but as the drama came to end, the woman realised Dahiya was no where to be seen. After a minute, Dahiya’s body was spotted floating in the pool,” said a senior police officer.

Dahiya was pulled out of water and the station medical officer, Dr Pramyesh Basall, was called. Attempts were made to administer CPR to the deceased and he was rushed to Fortis Hospital, where he was declared brought dead at 12.50 am, Additional DCP south, Chinmoy Biswal said.

He also said that the evidence collected from the spot suggests that the revellers had been consuming alcohol. Dahiya’s uncle, two elder brothers Surender and Ashok Dahiya both engineers and his parents, who reside in Sonipat, Haryana, were informed about the incident.

Dahiya’s family has alleged foul play claiming he was an excellent swimmer. “The fact that he died of drowning is unbelievable. He was a very good swimmer. It is difficult to believe that a former police officer, an IRS and now a trained IAS, would be such callous,” said Kuldeep Singh, Dahiya’s uncle.

“Statements of those who were present there and Dahiya’s batch-mates have been recorded and they have not alleged any foul play. Post mortem examination reports have cleared death by drowning. No injury marks were found on the victim’s body. Inquest proceedings are on and the incident is being looked into. Deceased’s body was handed over to the family members after post mortem,” said Ishwar Singh, DCP South.

The pool area where the incident took place also did not have any CCTV cameras which could establish the sequence of events. “We suspect the facts stated by police and demand stringent probe. The government has lost a talented officer and they must show concern. The family is devastated by the incident, ” Singh added.

Police, however, confirmed that there were no CCTV cameras in the pool area of the institute. They also said that the party that had started with 25-30 people, only had a handful of guests left by the time the incident took place.

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