Several new revelations have been made following the arrest of Olympian medalist wrestler Sushil Kumar. He was arrested by a team of Delhi Police Special Cell on May 23 (Sunday) morning in connection with the Chhatrasal Stadium brawl that led to the death of a wrestler named Sagar Rana or Sagar Dhankad (as named by few media houses).
Sushil Kumar was absconding after the purported May 4th incident.
According to police, the wrestler had a video of the incident filmed to terrorise the wrestling circuit in the city. “Sushil had asked (his friend) Prince to make that video. He and his associates thrashed the victims like animals. He wanted to establish his fear in the wrestling community,” the police told in the Delhi court which sent the wrestler to six days’ police custody, reported NDTV.
Some reports also suggest that Kumar wanted to circulate the video to give out a message to his associated gangster to not mess around with him.
As it turns out, the Olympian medalist wrestler had connections with many dreaded gangsters. Police sources revealed that several criminals used to take shelter in a flat which was in the name of Sushil Kumar’s wife. A history-sheeter named Sandeep alias Kala Jathedi, wanted by the Delhi Police was also given shelter by Sushil.
Who is Sandeep alias Kala Jathedi?
As per reports, Sandeep alias Kala Jathedi is an alleged gangster from Haryana’s Sonepat. Jathedi had escaped from the custody of the Haryana Police in Faridabad after his seven accomplices waylaid the prison van in which Jathedi was being escorted from Faridabad court to Bhondsi jail on February 1, 2020. Jathedi had recently orchestrated the shootout at GTB Hospital to free his associate, Kuldeep Fajja, who was later killed in a police encounter.
Reports suggest that Kumar, who was on the run after the killing of the 23-year-old Sagar Rana, was not only trying to escape the police but was also trying to run away from Sandeep aka Kala Jathedi, who is currently believed to be in Dubai. In fact, despite knowing the repercussion of using an electronic device while being on the loose, Sushil Kumar continuously tried to establish contact with Kala Jathedi using a dongle for internet on his phone.
Sources said he was trying to contact Jathedi to seek forgiveness. Even after his arrest by a Special Cell team led by Inspector Shivkumar, Inspector Karambir and supervised by ACP Attar Singh, Kumar reportedly begged police to save him from Jathedi’s men in jail, suggesting he failed to strike a truce with the dreaded gangster while he was on the run for 18 days.
“These people, who I am up against, are criminal-minded people and I will suffer at their hands,” Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, representing the accused, told the court on behalf of Sushil Kumar. Luthra informed the court that Sonu present during the brawl is a history-sheeter and is a member of a gang headed by Kala Jathedia.
What is the connection between Sushil Kumar and gangster Kala Jathedi?
It may be recalled that on May 4, a quarrel took place between Sushil Kumar, Ajay, Sonu, Sagar, Prince, and others in the parking area of the Chhatrasal Stadium.
The accused Sonu, who has 19 cases of murder, extortion and robbery lodged against him, is Kala Jathedia’s nephew. As reported by Navbharat Times, Jathedi treated Sonu like his son and carried out large-scale land grabbing and extortion in Delhi through Sonu and other associates.
Sushil Kumar had allegedly joined hands with Jathedi and through him, obtained a flat in M2-Block of northwest Delhi’s Model Town, where the purported incident took place on May 4.
This flat was being used to shelter criminals belonging to the Jathedi-Lawrence Bishnoi gang, who hatched many criminal plots there. According to reports, Kumar had formulated an understanding with the gangsters, according to which all the land grabbing and extortion proceeds would be distributed equally amongst Kumar and Jathedi.
However, in the last few months, Kumar had established proximity with Jathedi’s rival gangs, including henchmen of jailed gangsters Neeraj Bawana and Naveen Bali, which created distrust leading to drift between Kumar and Jathedi.
When Jathedi pressed Kumar for money and sale of the flat in M2-Block of northwest Delhi’s Model Town, the latter asked Sagar, who was living in the flat then, to vacate the premises.
This miffed the gang members of Jathedi, who started foul mouthing Kumar publicly. Enraged by this, Kumar challenged Sagar and his associates for a face-off. Sonu was convinced until then that Kumar would not cross lines given Jathedi’s clout. However, Kumar, known for being short-tempered, took the help of Jathadi’s rival gang members to teach a lesson to Sagar and his aides.
For this reason, Kumar asked Prince to record the assault, so that it could be circulated and a strong message could be given out to the members of the Jathedi gang to not mess with him.
However, Sagar’s death prompted Jathedi to declare a full-fledged open war against Kumar and his aide with a threat to eliminate them. According to reports, until his arrest, Jathedi’s men were still in the lookout for Kumar and his associates, to seek revenge for Sagar’s killing. This fear has now compelled Kumar to plead with the police to save him from Jathedi’s men in jail.
A wrestler told the media on the condition of anonymity that Kumar was afraid of being caught by the members of the Jathedi gang. “Sushil had contacted Jathedi but the talks between them were inconclusive. Jathedi had also threatened to kill him and others involved in the incident,” he said.
The Olympian medalist wrestler is not new to controversy
Sushil Kumar, one of India’s ace wrestlers has a life marred with controversies. In fact, the man who brought India an Olympic silver and bronze from London and Beijing respectively has been one of the country’s most controversial athletes in recent times. Below is a list of Sushil’s trysts with controversies.
Sushil Kumar accused of having a role in spiking Narsingh Pancham Yadav’s food: In 2016, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) had chosen Narsingh Pancham Yadav to represent India at the Rio Olympic Games. Sushil moved the Delhi High court seeking the organisation of a trial bout against Narsingh to determine India’s entry in the 74 kg wrestling event at Rio. The court refused Sushil’s demand.
Then when Narsingh Pancham Yadav failed the dope test, he accused Sushil Kumar of having a role in spiking his food.
The wrestling federation also accused Sushil of being more inclined towards his commercial interests than training and competing.
After all the arguments, the Delhi High Court had dismissed Kumar’s plea for a trial against Narsingh Yadav to decide on a berth in the 74kg category at the Rio Olympic berth.
Sushil Kumar’s appointment as national observer questioned: In 2017, Sushil’s rival wrestler Narsingh Yadav has objected to Sushil Kumar’s appointment as a national observer, raising conflict of interest allegations in a letter to the Sports Ministry.
Narsingh also questioned how Sushil was appointed observer despite allegations of sabotage levelled against him before Rio Olympics, which led to four years of suspension for the Mumbai-based wrestler.
Sushil Kumar received three walkovers en route to gold: Sushil Kumar had received three walkovers before he was crowned the new national champion in the 74-kg category in November 2017 raising eyebrows at his national win. Sushil had qualified to represent his employers, Railways Sports Promotion Board, for the Nationals without a single bout. The manner in which he had then became the national champion was termed more a political victory rather than performance.
During the 2018 Commonwealth Games trials, when Sushil Kumar beat Praveen Rana in the final, the latter claimed that Kumar’s supporters beat him and his elder brother “for daring to take the ring” against him.
Rana also alleged that Sushil’s supporters have given him death threats and dared him to participate in the upcoming Pro Wrestling League.
The Delhi Police had then registered an FIR under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code against wrestler Sushil Kumar on charges of attacking Parveen Rana and his brother Naveen.
Feuds with co wrestlers and coaches: Kumar also had a feud with wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, who won the Bronze Medal for the country along with Sushil at the London Olympics. Yogeshwar used to train at the Chhatrasal Stadium itself. Due to a dispute with Sushil, he left the Chhatrasal Stadium after the London Olympics. Apart from Yogeshwar, other wrestlers namely, Jeetendra Kumar and Praveen also left the Chhatrasal Stadium. Apart from these, wrestler Bajrang Punia, who won the medal in the World Wrestling Championship, also left the Chhatrasal Stadium due to the controversy.
Sushil’s dispute has not only been with the players but fed up with his behavior, many coaches have too left the Chhatrasal Stadium. Coach Ramphal left the Chhatrasal Stadium after the London Olympics. At the same time, 6 months ago, Virender Singh, who was considered to be Sushil’s special, also kept away from Sushil due to controversy.
Sushil Kumar accused of deliberately injuring fellow wrestler: During the trial bout for the 2019 World Championship, Sushil was accused of deliberately punching wrestler Jeetendra in the eye. In the trials held at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in 2019, Jitendra faced Sushil in the final.
During the bout, Sushil allegedly first twisted Jeetendra’s finger, then punched his left eye. Jeetendra had then told the media that the injury he suffered stopped him from making an appearance for a while.
The recent brawl leading to the murder of Sagar Rana: On May 4, an incident of a brawl among some wrestlers namely, Sushil Kumar, Ajay, Sonu, Sagar, Prince, and others were reported at Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi. In the incident, Sagar Rana succumbed to his injuries and Olympian Sushil Kumar was named as one of the accused in the case.
Sushil Kumar travelled between Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana while trying to evade arrest
Police said that Kumar had been travelling between Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana while trying to evade arrest. The wrestler had spent May 5 and 6 at a yoga guru’s ashram in Haridwar, sources said. During his bid to evade arrest, the wrestler kept switching his mobile phone off and made WhatsApp calls to connect with his aides. It is also suspected that he was helped by his friends and some gangsters to stay off the grid.
The use of a dongle to browse the internet on a mobile phone, which was without a SIM card, helped police narrow their search. Apart from this, human intelligence also played a major role in the arrest.
At least 14 teams from different units of Delhi Police, including northwest district and Special Cell, had been chasing Kumar ever since he went into hiding.
Wrestler’s political connections questioned
Wondering who gave shelter to Sushil Kumar while he traveled between Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana to evade arrest, the deceased Sagar Rana’s uncle Anand, opined that Delhi police should thoroughly investigate who provided shelter to Kumar despite a reward on his head. He also said that his links with high-profile politicians who are providing tactical support to Kumar should be brought to the fore.
Delhi police arrest Olympian medalist wrestler
Sushil Kumar has now been arrested and sent to 6-day police custody. Kumar had been absconding since the shootout and the Delhi Police had announced a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh for any information that leads to his arrest.
The Delhi Police had registered a case under Sections 302, 365, 120B of the Indian Penal Code. Sushil Kumar’s associate Ajay Kumar, who had been accompanying the wrestler ever since Sagar Rana’s murder has also been arrested. One of the accused identified as 24-years-old Prince Dalal was arrested shortly after the incident.
Sagar succumbed to his injuries at the hospital while Amit and Sonu are undergoing treatment.