Indian Olympic hero Sushil Kumar is currently in jail in New Delhi. He is accused of murdering fellow wrestler Sagar Rana, who was beaten to death with sticks at the Chhatrasal Stadium in May.
Authorities allege that Kumar, and a group of men, abducted Rana, along with his friends, and then brought them to the stadium. Rana and his friends were allegedly beaten while one of Kumar’s associates recorded the assault on his cellphone.
After the incident Kumar lead police on a 20-day manhunt before he was eventually captured.
According to The Hindu an eyewitness to the murder has petitioned the Delhi High Court to seek protection for him and his family. That witness claimed that nine of the men arrested in connection to this case have criminal records and associations with organized crime within Haryana state.
It is alleged that these men were recruited by Kumar to abduct and beat Rana and his friends. It is also alleged that the reason for the attack on Rana was that the young wrestler had supposedly insulted, disrespected or badmouthed Kumar.
In their application to the court, the eyewitness claimed that Kumar is a rich and influential person and that, despite his detainment, he was able to cause harm to the victims and witnesses in this case.
Recent media reports in India have stated that Kumar began associating with organized crime figures when he operated a toll booth business. Those reports listed a number of figures in the Delhi criminal underworld who were supposedly utilized by Kumar to make his business profitable and free of harassment.
Kumar’s toll booth business was also scrutinized after some toll booth workers were charged with murdering a local politician.
Before he was accused of murder Kumar was one of India’s most popular athletes. He is the only Indian to medal twice at the Olympics in an individual sport. At the 2012 games in London he carried the Indian flag in the opening ceremony.
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