Weeks after Sushil Kumar was reported absconding, the Delhi Police on Sunday arrested two-time Olympic medalist wrestler in the Chhatrasal Stadium brawl case. As per Special CP-Special Cell Neeraj Thakur, Sushil Kumar was arrested in Delhi on Sunday morning along with his associate Ajay Kumar in the murder of 23-year-old junior wrestler Sagar Rana. A team of Special Cell SR led by Inspector Shivkumar, inspector Karambir and supervised by ACP Attar Singh has arrested the wrestler Sushil Kumar and Ajay from Mundka area of the national capital.

Wrestler Sushil Kumar was evading a Non-Bailable Warrant (NBW) for his alleged involvement in the death of a 23-year-old wrestler Sagar Rana during a brawl at the Chhatrasal Stadium, considered the cradle of Indian wrestling, made most famous by Sushil — India’s only sportsperson with two individual Olympic medals. Sagar Rana was the son of a Delhi Police constable and trained at the stadium before he died on May 5 because of the injuries he sustained in the brawl.

India’s sports fraternity reacts to Sushil Kumar’s arrest

Boxer Vijender Singh who won the historic bronze medal for India at the 2008 Beijing Games responded to the arrest of Sushil Kumar and said that no one can ever take what Sushil has achieved as a sportsperson.

“What he has done for Indian sports is something that can never be taken away from him. That’s all I want to say at this point. Let things be clearer. I don’t want to comment more,” boxing star Vijender Singh, who has been to two Olympic Games with Sushil, told PTI. Notably, Both Vijender and Sushil won historic bronze medals at the 2008 Beijing Games. Vijender remains India’s sole male Olympic medallist in boxing.

Seasoned table tennis player A Sharath Kamal, who is gearing up for his fourth Olympic appearance, conceded that Indian sport’s image will take a hit. Kamal’s limited interactions with Sushil have taken place during social events as Olympians.”If this has actually happened, it is unfortunate and reflects badly on Indian sport, not just wrestling,” he said.

“He is one of the best athletes we have had. People look up to him. So if he has done what he has done, it will negatively impact not just wrestlers but athletes from other sports also.”

Former hockey captain Ajitpal Singh, an Indian Olympic Association observer at the 2008 Olympics, recalled interacting with Sushil at the Games and said he still can’t understand what exactly went wrong with the “polite” man.”It is very shameful and unfortunate. Being a role model Sushil should have led by example and never indulged in such a brawl. He has got everything in life, the sport gave him everything, money, fame,” he said as reported by PTI.

“I met him during the Beijing Olympics where I was an IOA observer and found him to be a very down-to-earth and polite guy. But having said that everyone needs to know how to handle fame,” observed Ajitpal Singh.

A prominent wrestling colleague of Sushil advised caution while forming opinions. “Yes he has been arrested but only time and investigation will tell if he was involved or not. But definitely, it has hurt the image of wrestling and sport in general. Let’s see what comes out of the investigation,” he said. “He has two small children, think of the impact on them,” added a top boxer who knew Sushil closely and still can’t make sense of the developments.

Sushil has two sons from his marriage to his coach Satpal Maharaj’s daughter Savi. The couple tied the knot in 2011.

What is the Chhatrasal Stadium case?

As per sources, on the intervening night of May 4-5, a quarrel had broken between wrestlers at Chhatrasal Stadium which quickly escalated after someone from the group fired shots. The injured wrestlers had to be rushed to the Trauma Centre, Civil Lines, where one of the wrestlers, former junior national champion Sagar Rana succumbed to his injuries. Days later, 24-year-old Prince Dalal from Jhajjar, Haryana was arrested in the case with double-barrel-loaded guns. Another accused in the firing, Sonu Mahal is touted to be a close associate of gangster Kala Jathedi.

Sushil Kumar however claimed that he has nothing to do with the incident, even though we went missing shortly after this statement. “They weren’t our wrestlers, it happened late last night. We have informed police officials that some unknown people jumped into our premises and fought. No connection of our stadium with this incident” he said.

(Story Inputs: PTI)

(Image Credits: PTI/Instagram- singhvijender/sharathkamal)