Wrestler Sushil Kumar spends birthday in police lockup

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India's Olympic wrestling medallist Sushil Kumar sits inside a vehicle after he was arrested by police over alleged involvement in the murder of a fellow wrestler in New Delhi on May 23, 2021. (Photo by Dinesh Joshi / AFP) (Photo by DINESH JOSHI/AFP via Getty Images)
India's Olympic wrestling medallist Sushil Kumar sits inside a vehicle after he was arrested by police over alleged involvement in the murder of a fellow wrestler in New Delhi on May 23, 2021. (Photo by Dinesh Joshi / AFP) (Photo by DINESH JOSHI/AFP via Getty Images)

New Delhi, May 26 (PTI) Two-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar spent his birthday in a lockup on Wednesday after being remanded to six days police custody in connection with the murder of a wrestler at the Chhatrasal Stadium here.

Police said he remained quiet through the day.

On Wednesday morning, police said four associates of Kumar, who were involved in the alleged property dispute case that led to the death of the 23-year-old wrestler Sagar, were arrested by the Rohini district police and handed over to the crime branch.

Two of Sagar’s friends were injured in the brawl at the stadium that took place on the intervening night of May 4-5 over a dispute related to the property in Delhi’s Model Town area.

The accused were identified as Bhupender (38), Mohit (22), Gulab (24), residents of Haryana's Jhajjar district and Manjeet (29), a native of Rohtak district, they said.

They are active members of the Kala Asauda and Neeraj Bawana gangs and were arrested from Delhi’s Kanjhawala area on Tuesday night.

A senior police officer said the four accused were produced before the duty metropolitan magistrate who sent them to four days police remand.

“We have got their custody and they are being interrogated by the team,” he added.

Speaking about the interrogation of Kumar, the official said the wrestler comes up with new stories every day and keeps changing his statements.

“But now we are cornering him because more people connected to him, including those at or near the scene of crime are being questioned,” the officer said.

The police said people working at the stadium or nearby areas are also being quizzed.

Kumar will also be cross questioned in front of his associates to ascertain the sequence of events and to probe what led to the brawl on the day of incident, the officer said.

Kumar and his associate Ajay were arrested on Sunday from outer Delhi’s Mundka area by a team of Delhi Police’s special cell and the case was then transferred to the crime branch which is presently probing it.

Police, meanwhile, are also probing if gangster Kala Jathedi was directly linked to the incident that unfolded at the Stadium.

The investigating team is yet to recover the cell phone of Kumar and are working to track the device, police said, adding fingerprints collected from the spot have been sent for further examination.

Meanwhile, Ashok Dhankad, father of the killed wrestler has asked the government to take back the awards given to Kumar.

“We demand fair probe in the case and strict punishment should be given to him for the offence. No Guru should do this to his disciple. The government should also take back the awards which were given to him,” he said.

Dhankad said his son’s wrestling career started from Pratap School in Kharkhoda and since 2013, he was practising at Chhatrasal Stadium.

He has played world championship in Finland and Asian Championship in Taiwan.

“Sagar was a former junior national champion and wanted to go to Georgia for practice as he told me that there is severe competition in senior category and he needed to prepare himself. But, due to Covid, he could not go there. He had 10 to 12 medals including four to five gold medals,” Dhankad said. PTI NIT/AMP RHL

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