March 13, 2022 11:23:25 am
Olympic gold medallist Sushil Kumar, currently lodged in Tihar Jail in connection with a murder case, is now working as a fitness and wrestling coach for prison inmates, officials said Sunday. Five to six inmates have already joined the fitness classes and get training twice or thrice a week.
Kumar was arrested in May last year along with his associates for allegedly thrashing and killing Sagar Dhankar, a young athlete, at Chhatrasal Stadium in New Delhi.
Prison authorities said they had planned to include the wrestler in sports and other recreational activities last year but the increase in Covid cases meant that it never materialised. With cases on the decline this year, officials said they “encouraged” Kumar and others to indulge in sports, wrestling and other activities such as painting and singing.
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Initially, Kumar trained alone while other prisoners, including former JNU student Umar Khalid, would seek tips and train with him, an officer said. The authorities later asked Kumar to help other inmates too.
“Around a dozen inmates in Tihar said they want fitness/wrestling coaching from Kumar. This has just started for those who are interested. A batch of five to six inmates is learning for now. We hope more inmates join soon,” said a senior official.
Currently, the inmates are getting basic training under the supervision of the authorities. Officials said they also make reports of the sessions which are then submitted to Tihar Director-General Sandeep Goel.
Last year in September, before the third wave of Covid-19, the Delhi prisons department had called professional trainers to help inmates in extra-curricular subjects such as kho-kho, volleyball, basketball, chess and carrom. All such activities are monitored and reported.
Speaking on Kumar’s case, the Delhi Police said they have filed a chargesheet against the accused. A total of 17 people were arrested in the assault-cum-murder case after the victim Dhankar’s friends lodged a complaint against Kumar and other wrestlers. The police had said that the murder was a “conspiracy” by Kumar because of an alleged property issue with Dhankar.
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