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Chhatrasal case: Delhi court sends wrestler Sushil Kumar, his associate Ajay to six-day police custody

ANI | Updated: May 23, 2021 22:49 IST

New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): A Delhi Court on Sunday granted six days police custody of two-time Olympic medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar, arrested as a prime suspect in connection with murder of 23-year-old wrestler Sagar Dhankhar at Chhatrasal Stadium here.
The court said that no one is above law and law treats everyone equally while allowing Delhi Police to interrogate Kumar till May 29 in connection with the incident at Chhatrasal Stadium on May 4.
"Our Constitution guarantees the right to life and liberty to all persons subject to just exceptions. The importance of the initial days of investigation for unearthing the truth need not be overemphasised," the court said while remanding Sushil Kumar and his associate Ajay Bakkarwala to six days of police custody.
"A fear and proper investigation is sine qua non for arriving at truth and for meeting the ends of justice. However, the court's duty is also bound to strike a balance between the fairness of the investigation as well as the rights of the accused, " the court said.
"While the liberty of the accused is not to be curtailed unnecessarily, at the same time it is also to be seen that investigation is not hampered and that crucial evidence is not lost," the court added.
Noting that in the present situation, the allegations against the accused person are grave in nature, the court said the involvement of a large number of persons, some of which are stated to be belonging to some notorious gangs stationed outside Delhi is also suspected and they are yet to be arrested.
"The CCTV installed in the place of the incident has allegedly been tampered with and there is no sign of its DVR. All these points require detailed investigation by the police," said the court.
Delhi Police had sought 12-day custody of the wrestler in connection with the murder case of 23-year-old wrestler Sagar Dhankar.
According to Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava, 12 days custodial interrogation of Sushil Kumar is required for identifying others accused in the case. It is also essential for the recovery of weapons, to take the accused to areas of crime and to recover cloth that he was wearing at the time of the offence.

However, Sushil Kumar's counsel, advocate BS Jakhar opposed the plea filed by the Delhi Police for his custody. Prosecutor Shrivastava told the court that the manner in which the victims have been beaten is gruesome and the victims have been thrashed like animals.
Mentioning the Covid situation, he said that due to the restrictions imposed in the national capital, they cannot go out all the time, hence the Police need more days for custodial interrogation.
He also told the court that the accused was hiding in many places and therefore the police need to inquire him to know who were involved in harbouring Kumar.
Prosecutor also mentioned video clippings relating to the alleged offence and said that the one who succumbed to injuries was an international level junior champion.
They were two groups, as it appears two gangs were involved in the matter and we have to identify the association of a gang or not, Public Prosecutor Shrivastava said.
The 38-year-old wrestler, Kumar and his associate Bakkarwala were arrested by a team of Special Cell, Delhi Police on Sunday in the Mundka area of the national capital.
A non-bailable warrant was issued against Kumar and others in the connection with the case.
According to Delhi Police, Kumar had been absconding in an effort to evade his arrest. He had crossed the borders of as many as seven states and union territories during the past 18 days. He also constantly changed his SIM cards in order to avoid arrest, informed the Delhi Police.
An incident of a brawl among wrestlers was reported on May 4 in which some wrestlers were injured and they had to be admitted to a hospital. Sagar, who was one of them, died during his treatment at the hospital. (ANI)