Sushil Kumar sent to six-day police custody in murder case

A Delhi court sent Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar to six days' police custody on Sunday for interrogation in connection with the killing of a fellow wrestler.

Double Olympic medalist Kumar was physically produced before the court, following which the police was allowed to interrogate him for 30 minutes.   -  PTI

A Delhi court sent Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar to six days' police custody on Sunday for interrogation in connection with the killing of a fellow wrestler, saying the allegations against him are serious in nature and that no one is above the law.

Kumar and his associates allegedly assaulted wrestler Sagar Dhankar (23) and two of his friends, Sonu and Amit Kumar, at the Chhatrasal stadium here on the intervening night of May 4 and 5. Sagar succumbed to his injuries.

Kumar was arrested along with co-accused Ajay from outer Delhi's Mundka on Sunday. The two-time Olympic medallist was on the run for nearly three weeks.

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Metropolitan Magistrate Divya Malhotra allowed the custodial interrogation of Kumar, who was produced before the court by the police, which sought 12 days of custody to quiz him.

Allowing the police to interrogate Kumar for six days, the magistrate said, "No one is above law and law treats everyone equally. Our Constitution guarantees the right to life and liberty to all persons subject to exceptions. The allegations against the accused persons are grave in nature."

The court noted that the involvement of a large number of people, including members of notorious gangs from outside Delhi, is suspected in the case and they are yet to be arrested.

"The CCTV installed at the place of incident has allegedly been tampered with and there is no sign of its DVR. All these points require a detailed investigation by the police. As such, in the interest of justice, I deem it appropriate to allow the application to the extent of six days," the magistrate added.

During the course of the proceedings, Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava told the court that Kumar's custodial interrogation was required to unearth the conspiracy and motive behind the crime. He said the weapon used in the commission of crime, Kumar's mobile phone, SIM cards and the clothes he wore during the brawl have to be recovered. A rent agreement supposedly executed between the wife of the accused and one of the victims, Sonu, is also to be recovered, he added.

Shrivastava said the arrest of the other accused in the case has to be made and their specific role and Kumar's association with any gang of criminals also have to be ascertained.

"He (Kumar) has to be taken to the scene of crime. He was the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) of the stadium and its cameras were found to be dismantled. He took away the DVR, which has to be recovered," the additional public prosecutor told the court, seeking Kumar's custody.

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"No one is above the law. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. We just have these initial days to prove the case. We need to take him to different places, even outside Delhi, by following COVID-19 guidelines," he added.

Kumar's counsel Vikram Singh Jhakar opposed the remand application and argued that his client's custodial interrogation is not required as the police have already made recoveries in the case. He said Kumar is a celebrated wrestler and not a notorious criminal who may flee from justice.

"Rather, he has clean antecedents and has been falsely implicated in the case only to extort money. Moreover, both the accused are ready to cooperate in the investigation," Kumar's lawyer told the court.

The Delhi Police lodged an FIR in the case under sections 302 (murder), 308 (culpable homicide), 365 (kidnapping), 325 (causing grievous hurt), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The FIR was also registered under sections 188 (disobedience to order by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC and various sections of the Arms Act.

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