Magisterial probe into Nigerian footballer’s death

Agartala, Jan 4: The Tripura government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the mysterious death of 17-year-old Nigerian footballer Auro Azendu Joel, who was found dead in a juvenile home here last week, officials said here Saturday.

“West Tripura district magistrate Kiran Gitte would conduct the magisterial probe and submit a report to the state government about the death within a week,” a senior official of the state home department told reporters.

He said that the officials of the Nigerian embassy in New Delhi have taken away the body of the slain footballer Friday after the postmortem.

“Joel was found dead at a Tripura government-run juvenile home at Narshingarh (near Agartala) Dec 25 night. The death might be because of illness. However, our probe is on,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (Central) Rajendra Datta told reporters.

Joel was staying at the home since Sep 14, under the order of a local court after he was detained by Indian immigration officials. He was subsequently arrested by the police for allegedly forging a visa while going to Bangladesh through the Akhaurah check post, near here.

“Juvenile home officials took him to the G.B. Medical College and Hospital after he felt chest pain. Doctors at the hospital said he was brought dead,” Datta said.

The police official said that the young footballer, before his death, told police interrogators that he came to India 2010 and played in several south Indian clubs.

He was going to Bangladesh through Tripura to play club football. The deceased was the fourth Nigerian national, besides one from Sierra Leone, caught on visa forgery charges or illegal trespass from Bangladesh at different border check posts in Tripura last year.

IANS