Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar was arrested from Delhi on Sunday in connection with the murder of 23-year-old former junior national wrestling champion Sagar Dhankhar. He was held by the Southern range of Delhi Police’s Special Cell.
Kumar had been on the run since May 5 when an FIR was registered against him under IPC Sections 302 (murder), abduction (365), and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) at Model Town police station. On May 4, Dhankhar, who had competed in the 97-kg Greco-Roman category, was beaten to death following a clash between two groups.
A Delhi court on May 18 had rejected the anticipatory bail filed by Sushil Kumar and observed that the allegations against the champion wrestler were serious. Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava had already announced Rs 1 lakh reward for information leading to his arrest of Sushil Kumar and also took non-bailable warrant against him from the court.
Investigation has revealed that Kumar had travelled between Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana while trying to evade arrest. The Delhi Police has also received leads that suggest that Sushil, along with the others who are said to be involved in the May 4 clash at Chhatarshal wrestling academy, might have used multiple SIM cards to cover their tracks.
According to the police, Sushil left home as soon as the news of the 23-year-old’s death broke. “On May 5, he left his house at around 9.30 am after he came to know that Sagar succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment. He had come to Shalimar Bagh where he met his old associate. Later, the two took a car and travelled to Uttarakhand. From there, they moved to Muzaffarnagar, and later they returned to Delhi. The police, during their investigation, have obtained CCTV footage from Meerut toll point that shows Sushil entering Delhi on May 6,” a senior police officer said.
It is also learned that the investigators have picked a man from outer Delhi, who is said to have arranged around 10 SIM cards for Sushil and his associate Ajay Kumar, a physical education teacher at Chhatrasal Stadium.
“It is suspected that they dumped the SIM cards after using it,” sources said.
During the hearing of the anticipatory bail, Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava had opposed Kumar’s plea and told the court, “We have the electronic evidence wherein Sushil Kumar is seen with a ‘danda’.”
Additional Sessions Judge Jagdish Kumar who dismissed the bail plea said, “It is submitted that the motive is these as the deceased, though, vacated the rented premises owned by the wife of accused (Sushil Kumar), but he has not paid the rent for two months.”
Earlier, Additional DCP (North-West district) Dr Guriqbal Singh Sidhu had said, “We have recorded statements of all the victims and they have all named Sushil Kumar. We are conducting raids to nab him. We have found during investigation that a quarrel had allegedly taken place between Sushil Kumar, Ajay, Prince Dalal, Sonu, Sagar, Amit and others in the parking area of the stadium.”