The arrest of two-time Olympic medal winning wrestler Sushil Kumar earlier this week, in connection with the murder of 23-year-old wrestler Sagar Rana at Delhi's Chhatrasal Stadium, has brought to the fore the ugly wrestler-criminal nexus in the city's underworld.
According to sources with the Delhi Police, there is a threat to Sushil's life from a wanted gangster.
"Deceased Sagar Rana's friend Sonu Mahal, who was also assaulted in the brawl at Chhatrasal Stadium, is a relative of the Malaysia-based gangster Sandeep, alias Kala Jathedi. After the assault, Sushil is believed to be on the hit list of Sandeep".
"Due to the same reason, Sushil was escorted by a Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team while on his way to the court after his arrest", the police source said.
Gangster Sandeep is wanted for several heinous crime cases in India. He was booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) by the Delhi Police's Special Cell earlier this week.
MCOCA was first enacted in India's Maharashtra in 1999 to crackdown on organised crime syndicates and the underworld. Its success there led to the act being extended to Delhi in 2002.
"After the incident at the stadium, Sushil was not only escaping from police arrest but also saving himself from members of Sandeep's gang. We have strengthened the security around Sushil", the officer added.
Wrestler Sushil is currently under six-day police custody and the Delhi Police's Crime Branch has been investigating the case.
The police are investigating from every angle, and they are trying to find out if Sushil Kumar had any relation with gangsters, who may have helped Sushil before his arrest.
Sushil and his associates have been arrested under Sections 302 (murder), 308 (culpable homicide), 365 (kidnapping), 325 (causing grievous hurt), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian penal code.
"There are various sections under the Arms Act as well", the police said.
Since India's independence in 1947, Sushil has been the only Indian to have won two Olympic medals. He won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games in the 66 kg category.