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Indian Olympic Association president PT Usha alleges encroachment and illegal construction at her academy in Kerala, harassment by local authorities

PT Usha said that the harassment and hooliganism increased ever since she was nominated as the Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha last year.

On Saturday, February 4, former Olympic track and field athlete PT Usha alleged that illegal encroachment and construction have been taking place on the land allotted to her Usha School of Athletics in Balussery, Kerala. The legendary athlete and Indian Olympic Association president also alleged that the athletes in her academy are being subjected to harassment from the local authorities.

The former Olympian, fondly called the Queen of Indian track and field, spoke about her predicaments during a press conference in New Delhi.

“Some people barged into the compound of Usha School of Athletics and began construction work. When management confronted them, they misbehaved. They claimed that they had permission from Panangad panchayat, we complained to the police, and work was stopped,” PT Usha said as she broke down in front of the media.

Usha further claimed that when a wedding was held in the school’s adjacent area, the garbage was dumped at the academy’s compound.

The Member of Parliament also alleged that the all-women academy had witnessed incidents of drug addicts frequently trespassing on the place. Expressing concern over the safety of the female athletes in the academy, PT Usha urged Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to look into the continuing trouble and help put an end to it.

Usha said that such hooliganism had been going on for a long time at her academy and despite multiple complaints, little action has been taken.

She also added that the harassment and hooliganism increased ever since she was nominated as the Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha last year.

“People including drug addicts and couples barge into the compound at night and a few dump waste into the drainage. We are being targeted continuously. We need to make sure of the safety of our girls. We request Kerala CM interfere and resolve this issue,” she added.

“Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) has given the land on lease. So I have been trying to get all the stakeholders on board to ensure the safety of the girls over there.

“I expect all the stakeholders, including KSIDC and the chief minister to intervene and ensure that this kind of encroachment into the athletics school is stopped once and for all. There has always been some kind of a problem and it has increased in recent times,” she added.

Last year, former Olympic track and field athlete P.T. Usha was nominated to the Rajya Sabha. PT Usha was just elected president of the Indian Olympic Association. The Asian Games gold medallist, who narrowly missed out on an Olympic medal at the 1984 Games, has helped develop Olympians such as Tintu Luka and Jisna Mathew through her programme.

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