New Delhi, India: Two-time Olympic wrestling medallist Sushil Kumar was arrested on Sunday, Indian police said, after a week-long manhunt over the alleged murder of a fellow athlete.
Kumar went into hiding after 24-year-old Sagar Dhankad was badly beaten during a brawl between two groups of wrestlers at a stadium in the capital New Delhi on May 4.
Dhankad, a former junior champion who was training as a senior wrestler, later died in hospital.
Kumar was arrested early Sunday in northwest Delhi with another suspect, Delhi police said.
Delhi: Wrestler Sushil Kumar has been arrested by a team of Delhi Police Special Cell in Mundka area
(Pic source: Delhi Police) pic.twitter.com/plAfplKbix
— ANI (@ANI) May 23, 2021
“They were switching their location when they were arrested,” the police officer told AFP.
Police had offered a reward of 100,000 rupees ($1,370) for information leading to the arrest of the 37-year-old star after two of Dhankad’s associates injured in the fight named Kumar as one of the attackers.
“We have recorded statements of all the victims and they all made allegations against Sushil Kumar,” a senior police officer Guriqbal Singh told Indian media.
Delhi Police Deputy Commissioner Chinmoy Biswal told the AFP news agency that they insisted from the beginning that [Kumar] should join the police investigations and state his case.
There would have been no warrants or reward for his apprehension if he hadn’t gone on the run.” He should come up and say whatever he has to say, the officer he said.
But Kumar, via his lawyers, had said he was innocent and accused police of a biased investigation.
Kumar is viewed as one of India’s finest sportsmen and the only to win two individual Olympic medals — a freestyle wrestling silver at the 2012 London Games and a bronze at the Beijing Olympics four years earlier.
He represented India in international competitions and won three Commonwealth Games golds and one gold at the World Wrestling Championships in Moscow in 2010.
He was awarded India’s highest honor for athletes in 2009.