Kumar, a Padma Shri, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award recipient, had been shuttling between Delhi, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to evade arrest. He was finally nabbed in Mundka near the Delhi-Haryana border. The use of a dongle to browse the internet on a mobile phone, which was without a SIM card, helped police narrow their search. Apart from this, human intelligence also played a major role in the arrest.
At least 14 teams from different units of Delhi Police, including northwest district and Special Cell, had been chasing Kumar ever since he went into hiding.
After Dhankad’s thrashing, Kumar went home and slept. The next afternoon, when he found that he had been named in the FIR for murder, he fled to Rishikesh. For the first three days, he used his mobile phone intermittently, but later destroyed it. As raids began to intensify, he left Rishikesh and reached Mathura in an Innova, where he was captured on CCTV at a toll booth.
In the next few days, he kept shuttling between Delhi and Bahadurgarh, but later fled to Chandigarh. From there, he went to Bathinda and Jalandhar, only to return to Chandigarh.
On Saturday, he reached Gurgaon to collect money from a liquor supplier. By evening, at least three police units had closed in on him. At that time, his associates kept spreading false news on social media about his arrest from different places in Punjab and elsewhere. However, he was tracked in Gurgaon by police using internet-aided communication. However, he managed to dodge them late at night.
The accused wrestler then proceeded towards Hari Nagar in west Delhi to meet a woman friend. He took a scooty from there, but ditched it in the early hours of Sunday. The team trailing Kumar from Gurgaon later found the abandoned scooty. It was learnt that he had boarded a car and finally started walking to meet his contact near the Delhi-Haryana border.
“As he proceeded towards Mundka, a special cell team led by inspector Shiv Kumar cornered and arrested him at 9.15am,” said DCP Pramod Kushwaha.
During Kumar’s interrogation, police would ascertain the identity of the people who sheltered him. At least six prominent people, including two police officers of another state, are under the scanner, sources said.
In the intervening night of May 4 and 5, Dhankad was beaten to death in the parking lot of Chhatrasal Stadium, allegedly by Kumar and his associates. Kumar initially denied his involvement, but later went into hiding when police arrested his associate, Prince, and recovered a mobile video showing him and others assaulting Dhankad, the son of a Delhi Police head constable.
Kumar had allegedly asked Prince to make the video to “send a message” across to his rivals. TOI was the first to report that Kumar was clearly seen participating in the murder. Police had seized four vehicles from outside the stadium and a double-barrel gun was recovered from one of them.
Dhankad’s autopsy showed he had been brutally thrashed. He had multiple fractures and died due to cerebral damage, which was the result of blunt force impact on his head. Multiple abrasions and bruises were found on his upper limbs, chest and abdomen.