there had been a dispute between the two wrestlers
Olympic wrestler Sushil Kumar was arrested for allegedly murdering a fellow wrestler.
On May 4, 2021, Sagar Dhankhar was beaten during a fight involving rival wrestlers at Delhi’s wrestling academy. He later died of his injuries.
Sushil then allegedly went on the run.
Another wrestler involved in the incident at Chhatrasal Stadium, who received treatment, identified the alleged attackers to officers.
Police launched raids, offering a £950 reward for any information.
Senior police officer Guriqbal Singh said:
“We have recorded statements of all the victims and they all made allegations against Sushil Kumar.”
Sushil and Ajay Kumar, believed to be an accomplice, were arrested on May 23, 2021, in Delhi’s Mundka area.
Delhi Police Deputy Commissioner Chinmoy Biswal said:
“We have maintained from the first day that [Kumar] should join the police probe, and present his case.
“If he hadn’t gone on the run there wouldn’t have been any warrants or reward for his arrest.
“Whatever he needs to say, he should come forward.”
According to police, there had been a dispute between the two wrestlers in relation to a flat.
Sushil owned the flat and Sagar was renting it. The row was over Sagar’s eviction.
Sushil Kumar reportedly confessed, saying that the matter led to him beating Sagar so that he could teach him a lesson. He said he did not intend to kill him.
The wrestler fled because Sagar was friends with Sonu Mahal, who is believed to be an accomplice of notorious gangster Kala Jathedi.
The Dubai-based criminal reportedly threatened Sushil after the incident.
Sushil told police that he was more concerned about being attacked by Kala Jathedi’s gang rather than being arrested.
Following his arrest, Sushil said he is afraid that he will be attacked in prison by members of the gang.
Sushil Kumar is a decorated figure within Indian wrestling.
At the 2012 London Olympics, he won a silver medal for freestyle wrestling. He won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games.
He also won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games.
Following the incident, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) said the sport’s reputation had been damaged by the case.
Vinod Tomar, secretary of the WFI, said that Indian wrestling had been struggling to improve its name, as for a “long [time] wrestlers were known only as a bunch of goons”.
This is the second case involving a murder in the Indian wrestling world in just months.
Wrestling coach Sukhwinder Mor is currently awaiting trial for the murder of five people in February 2021, including a rival coach.