Sagar Dhankhar considered Sushil Kumar his guru, says late wrestler’s father

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Sagar Shankar, who died after an alleged brawl with Sushil Kumar at the Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi, was very close to double-Olympic medallist, claimed the late wrestler’s family on Friday.

Former junior national champion Sagar breathed his last on May 5, while two of his friends got injured after they were allegedly assaulted by Sushil Kumar and some other wrestlers on May 4, in or outside the Chhatrasal Stadium premises in the northern part of Delhi.

Sushil Kumar has been missing since Sagar’s death after being named in the FIR of murder, abduction and criminal conspiracy. Delhi Police is still trying to ascertain the role of Sushil, who is believed to be hiding somewhere in Haryana.

“Sagar had been at Chhatrasal for nearly eight years. He considered Sushil as his guru. I handed over my son to Mahabali Satpal, who runs Chhatrasal akhada. They promised to make him a fine wrestler.

“He has won medals and represented India in international competitions. He was proud to be part of Chhatrasal. Sagar never missed a day of training. He didn’t want to let down his mentors,” Sagar’s father Ashok was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.

There is a Look-Out-Circular (LoC) issued by the cops against Sushil, who is posted as an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) at Chhatrasal Stadium. The victims have alleged that Sushil and his associates abducted Sagar from his house in Model Town to teach him a lesson for bad-mouthing him in front of other wrestlers, police said.

“If Sagar did something wrong, they could have slapped him or thrown him out of Chhatrasal for good.

“They should have called me up or his father and told us what he was doing and why it could not be tolerated. We would have advised Sagar. But taking his life is unacceptable,” Narendra Dhankhar, Sagar’s uncle, said.

The image of Chhatrasal stadium, which has given India its finest wrestlers like Sushil, Yogeshwar Dutt, Bajrang Punia and now Tokyo-bound Ravi Dahiya and Deepak Punia, has taken a massive beating after this incident, which has come at a time when Indian wrestling is celebrating its highest number of quotas — eight — for the Olympics.

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