New Delhi: The attack on junior wrestling champion Sagar Kumar and his friends, was “premeditated” by Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar, who wanted to “teach them a lesson” for “badmouthing him in public” and “disrespecting him”, a source in Delhi Police told ThePrint.
According to the police, investigations have revealed that Sushil was annoyed with Sagar, for calling him names like “badmash” in public and “maligning his image”
The 23-year-old wrestler was beaten to death with hockey sticks, baseball bats and batons, while two of his friends — Sonu Mahal and Amit Kumar, were injured in the attack by a group of people at the Chhatrasal stadium premises in North-West Delhi, late Tuesday night.
While the Delhi Police have arrested one wrestler Prince Dalal, for his alleged involvement in the attack, raids have been launched to trace the medalist who, police say, is absconding.
According to police sources, Sagar was a tenant at a house in Model Town owned by Sushil Kumar. Sushil had wanted him to vacate the property as Sagar was unable to pay the rent on time. This caused their relations to be strained.
“The two had had fights and arguments in the past over the house. Sushil wanted Sagar to vacate, and pay the rent that was due, but he [Sagar] was not doing it,” a senior police officer said.
Sagar finally vacated the house four months ago and shifted to another place but started publicly criticising Sushil for his attitude, police said.
“We have been told that Sushil found out from his circle that Sagar was calling him names. He was annoyed and angry that Sagar disrespected him and criticised him in public and in their circle, trying to malign his image of a guru. He feared that he may lose respect, become unpopular in his circle,” the source said.
While Sagar, who died of a head injury received in the attack, competed in the 97-kg Greco-Roman category and was a former junior national champion and part of the senior national camp, Sushil is the only Indian athlete to have won consecutive Olympic medals in an individual sport. He also has a world championship title to his name.
ThePrint tried to reach Sushil Kumar for a comment but his phone remained switched off till the time of publishing this report.
‘I will tell you who’s a badmash’
According to the police, one of the injured, in his statement said that Sushil Kumar was present at the spot at the time of the attack and told Sagar that he will show him who is a “badmash”.
Sushil’s associates then allegedly took out hockey sticks and cricket bats from their cars, and attacked Sagar and his friends.
“Sushil was upset about Sagar calling him a ‘badmash’ and wanted to teach him a lesson. One of the injured has also said that Sushil had been upset about this for a long time. On Tuesday, he caught hold of Sagar and said, ‘Main batata hun tujhe badmash kaun hai’ (I’ll tell you who’s a badmash),” the source said.
According to the FIR that names Sushil Kumar as an accused, a call was made to the police control room around 2 am from Chhatrasal stadium about a “firing incident”.
When police reached the spot, they found five cars in the parking area. The three injured men were found and rushed to the hospital.
“It was a premeditated attack, planned very well in advance. The men had come armed with [cricket] bats, [hockey] sticks for the attack. We still do not know how many people are involved in this as it is a student compound. Our teams are working on identifying the perpetrators,” the senior police officer quoted above said.
A district crime team also found a “loaded double-barrel gun and three cartridges” inside a Scorpio car parked outside the stadium. The owner of the pistol, however, has not yet been identified.
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)