Two days after 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, the double Olympic medallist said that he was ready to face consequences if even one witness comes forward to testify against him.
In an interview to Times of India, Sushil said, “If even one witness comes forward and says that I have harmed Praveen Rana after the bout as alleged by him, I am ready to face the law of the land… ready to face the consequences no matter how big my stature is. Hang me if I am guilty. I didn’t even meet him after the bout as I had gone to change my dress just for two minutes, and later I was inside the wrestling hall. So how could I hit him?”
“By lodging the FIR against me, Parveen is trying to divert my attention to other issues but wrestling. I am not perturbed by it. This is unacceptable on his part, as I wasn’t part of the scuffle. But I won’t stoop to his level. I have full faith in our police system. I don’t know who is instigating him. I had no knowledge that a scuffle had broken out between my alleged supporters and Parveen and his brother Naveen. I had no role to play, my conscience is clear. Those were not my supporters,” he added.
Sushil also felt that the wrestlers were trying to ruin his comeback by injuring him. “On Friday, it was everything but wrestling. I could sense that wrestlers were trying to bodily harm me by indulging in rough grappling. I felt they wanted to ruin my comeback. They wanted to create roadblocks in my successful return to wrestling by harming me. It was for everyone to see how Parveen bit me and hit me near my eyes. The left side of my eye had a cut, blood was coming out of my hand. Later, when Jitender fought with me, my knee got twisted badly. I got an MRI scan on that and I am literally limping at the moment. However, I am not casting aspersions on Jitender, he touched my feet after the bout and I blessed him. But, I am in pain at the moment.”
The case against Sushil was registered late Friday night on the basis of a written complaint lodged by Rana and his brother Naveen. “They threatened to kill me if I go to the stadium for training. They asked me to stay away from wrestling and not be seen anywhere near the stadium,” Rana said in his complaint.