Double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and five others were booked for assault and criminal intimidation for allegedly inciting a brawl against rival wrestler Praveen Rana at the Indira Gandhi stadium on Friday. Police said the case was registered late Friday night on the basis of a written complaint lodged by Rana and his brother Naveen.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (central) MS Randhawa told The Indian Express that a case under section 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 345 (Wrongful confinement of person for whose liberation writ has been issued) of the IPC has been registered at the IP Estate Police Station.
Rana told police that Sushil’s supporters taunted him after his semifinal loss to the veteran wrestler at the Commonwealth Games trials. According to the complaint, Rana and his brother were attacked with chair and iron rods when the wrestler was warming up in the training area. He also alleged that he was threatened if he “dared” to compete against Sushil in the Pro Wrestling League starting next month.
“I have trained at the Chhatrasal Stadium for around 15 years, so I know everyone by face. I can identify the people who have beaten me and my brother,” Rana further said in his complaint. According to the police, the accused have been identified and will be called in for questioning.
“As of now no arrest has been made but we have sought video recordings from various news channels to corroborate the incident,” said Randhawa. Earlier, Sushil condemned the incident and came out in support of Rana. “It is really sad. Whoever is responsible for this, even if it is someone from my family, it is wrong. This should not happen in sport,” Sushil had said.
This isn’t the first time Sushil’s supporters have been accused of threatening his opponent. Last year, 2015 World Championship bronze medallist Narsingh Yadav alleged that he received threats after winning a court battle against Sushil before the Rio Olympics. Narsingh, who was training at the Sports Authority of India’s Sonepat centre, was subsequently given police protection. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), meanwhile, washed its hands off Friday’s incident. WFI president Brijbhushan Sharan Singh said since it took place outside the main arena, it was not their responsibility.