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Indian Olympic wrestler Sushil arrested in murder case of fellow athlete

DELHI: Famous Olympic wrestling medallist Sushil Kumar was arrested after a week-long manhunt over the alleged murder of a fellow athlete, Indian media reported on Sunday.

Kumar was apprehended early on Sunday in northwest Delhi with another suspect, police said. “They were switching their location when they were arrested,” the police officials said while talking to the media.

On May 4, Kumar went into hiding after 24-year-old Sagar Dhankad was badly beaten during a brawl between two groups of wrestlers at a stadium in the capital New Delhi. Dhankad, a former junior champion who was training as a senior wrestler, later died in hospital.

Police had offered a reward of 100,000 rupees ($1,370) for information leading to the arrest of the 37-year-old star after two of Dhankad’s associates injured in the fight named Kumar as one of the attackers. However,  Kumar, via his lawyers, had said he was innocent and accused police of a biased investigation.

Kumar is viewed as one of India’s finest sportsmen and the only to win two individual Olympic medals — a freestyle wrestling silver at the 2012 London Games and a bronze at the Beijing Olympics four years earlier.

He represented India in international competitions and won three Commonwealth Games golds and one gold at the World Wrestling Championships in Moscow in 2010. He was awarded India’s highest honor for athletes in 2009.