Sushil Kumar Chhatrasal Stadium Murder Case


The pride of the country, Sushil Kumar had famously ended India’s 56-year long wait for an Olympic medal in wrestling at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist secured the silver medal four years later at the London Games. The grappler is still India’s only world champion (2010) in the sport. On the auspicious occasion of World Wrestling Day, Sushil was enlisted into the walk of shame by the Delhi Police as the special cell officials of the law enforcement agency for the national capital captured the absconding wrestler following his connection with the Chhatrasal murder case.

The fact can’t be denied that after this incident wrestling’s image has gone down ever since the tragic death of junior wrestling champion Sagar Dhankhad. The famous wrestler had a knack for getting embellished with Tri-colour after securing medals for India in noble tournaments. On May 23, Sushil Kumar was seen hiding his face as he covered it with a towel with his other companions while both hands were held by Delhi Police special cell officers following his arrest in connection with the Chhatrasal murder case.

Chhatrasal Stadium Murder Case

Sagar Dhankar, an aspiring wrestler lived in a rented property owned by Sushil Kumar and was asked to vacate the premises due to failure in paying the rent regularly. The continuous pressure from the Olympic medalist made Sagar Dhankhad vacate his property which has initiated the rivalry between them. After vacating the premises, Sagar used to call out Sushil Kumar’s name that tarnished his reputation and this resulted in a noisy fight between the two wrestlers in the parking lot of Chhatrasal Stadium on 4th May.

The former junior wrestling champion, Sagar and his two friends who were injured after a noisy fight was reportedly assaulted by Sushil Kumar and the other four wrestlers on May 4 night. Sagar was allegedly beaten to death in a tussle outside the Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi. He was badly beaten during the tussle that took place between two groups of wrestlers. Later, Sagar succumbed to injuries at the hospital. After a lot of controversies, the wrestling champion Sushil Kumar clarified that his wrestlers were not involved in the tussle which was happened on the night of May 4. He said, “We have informed the police about this incident that some strangers came into our premises and started fighting, there is no connection of our stadium with this incident”. Sushil Kumar soon absconded from the scene when he was first named in the FIR (First Information Report) of the Chhatrasal stadium murder case.

The Delhi Police issued a lookout notice and a reward of Rs. 1 lakh after a non-bailable warrant issued against Sushil Kumar, several raids were also conducted in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand at that time to nab the absconded wrestler. The police had also announced a bounty of 50,000 for Sushil Kumar’s companion Ajay Kumar. The case of abduction, murder and criminal conspiracy was filed against him. To avoid the arrest, he had moved the Rohini Court on May 17 to get an Anticipatory Bail, but the court refused the same. On May 23, Sushil Kumar and his companion Ajay Kumar was arrested by Delhi Police officials from Mundka in connection with the Chhatrasal stadium murder case. There are some photos and a video surfacing over the internet which has taken a new twist in this case of beating Sagar Dhankhad at the Chhatrasal stadium that went viral on all social media platforms which are going to make it difficult for Sushil Kumar to get any respite from the court. One double barrel loaded gun with five live cartridges and two wooden sticks were found in one SUV from the scene of the crime, but the wrestler claimed that the firearms and other vehicles found at the scene of the crime were not possessed by him. The case was filed at PS Model town. The Olympics medalist Sushil Kumar has been charged under six sections of the Indian Penal Code which include:

  • Section 302 for Murder.
  • Section 365 for Kidnapping.
  • Section 308 for Culpable Homicide.
  • Section 341 for wrongful restraint.
  • Section 506 for Criminal Intimidation.
  • Section 323 for Voluntarily Causing Hurt.

Meanwhile, regular developments continue to happen regarding the case as the investigation is still in progress.

Court’s Order

The Delhi Court sentenced Sushil Kumar and his companion Ajay Kumar, to six days in police custody after they were arrested in connection with the murder case of junior national wrestling champion Sagar Dhankhar at the Chhatrasal Stadium.

The court in its order said “No one is above law and law treats everyone equally. Though the constitution guarantees the right to life and liberty to all persons whether they are accused or not but that right is also subject to certain exceptions”. In addition, the significance of the initial days of examination or investigation to uncover the truth also must be seen. The court is duty-bound to find some kind of harmony between the fairness of the investigation and the rights of the accused”.

The court further said, “In the present case the charges made against the accused persons are very serious. The record reveals that the accused is the main conspirator and the investigation is still going on as some of the accused persons have not been arrested so far. Since it is the stage of anticipatory bail the court will not make any further observations on the evidence presented before it, doing so could prejudice the parties. So, the court is not inclined to grant anticipatory bail at this time”.

Impact on the Sports Fraternity

On the special occasion of World Wrestling Day, the arrest of two time’s Olympic medalist became the major topic of discussion. The athletes and many people from the sports fraternity have expressed disappointment after knowing this incident. This incident is unfortunate and reflects badly on Indian sport, not just wrestling. The investigation is still in progress but definitely, it has hurt the image of wrestling and sport in general. The series of unpredictable events have left the entire Indian sports fraternity shocked even though Sushil’s achievements will remain intact, as he is the only Indian world wrestling champion.

The WFI (World Federation of India) said that the reputation built over the past years with tremendous performances, many of them given by Sushil himself, has been destroyed. The image of Chhatrasal stadium which has given India, its finest wrestlers like Sushil, Bajrang Punia, Yogeshwar has also gone down after this incident. As per some sources, some of the wrestlers like Bajrang Punia and Yogeshwar left the facility because they were continuously targeted by Sushil’s camp for not toeing their line.

The wrestler is not just an Olympics medalist but he also has many posts in sports administration but after this incident and Sushil Kumar’s arrest, the licensing branch of Delhi Police has suspended his Arms license. The Northern Railway has also suspended wrestler Sushil Kumar from his job in the Northern Railways due to the ongoing investigation against him with his connection in the Chhatrasal stadium murder case.

According to some reports, while assaulting Sagar Dhankhad who was the victim, in this case, Sushil Kumar asked one of his companions to film the whole scene to create a fear of his personality among the wrestling community. At the time when Sushil Kumar used to be the honor of the nation, by securing medals in the Olympics, and so many awards from the government this kind of incident has left a negative impact on the entire sports fraternity of our nation.


This incident has left the entire Indian sports fraternity shocked. The charges and the serious allegations made against Sushil Kumar had attracted a lot of criticism from the sports community. People are referring to this incident as the darkest episode in Indian sports which harms the upcoming wrestlers and the Indian sports community. It is very shameful that the person who used to be the pride of the country or has represented our nation at the world level and secured medals for his country, today his name is involved in a murder case of another wrestler only because of the failure in paying the rent regularly. The person who got everything in his life from sports, fame or money and many more things has indulged in such kind of shameful acts is very disheartening. No guru should do this to his disciple, what Sushil Kumar did. As the court also said that no one is above the law and law treats everyone equally. But still, the investigation is going on people should wait for it to be completed, if he did what has been alleged then unfortunately it would impact not only the wrestlers but also the other athletes. At last, I would say that the guilty must be punished for his crime and the innocent should get justice. 

This article is authored by Jyotika Saroha, Student at Dr. B. R. Ambedkar National Law University, Sonipat  

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