The tussle between Sushil Kumar and Narsingh Pancham Yadav turned serious with the Haryana Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) claiming Narsingh was under threat at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) training camp in Sonepat.
CID officials visited the centre twice in two days this week to check on Narsingh and apprise SAI authorities of the situation as the report stated outsiders could make an attempt to attack the wrestler. The police also made a round of the centre on Thursday.
Narsingh hadn’t joined the national camp till late on Thursday, which is being held at the Bahalgarh centre for wrestlers qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Sushil had demanded that trials be held in the 74kg weight category in which Narsingh won the quota for the country after winning bronze at the 2015 World Championships in Las Vegas, USA. The WFI turned down the request, leading to Sushil filing a writ petition in the Delhi high court.
Given the threat, SAI administrator Radhica Sreeman had written to SAI director general Injeti Srinivas to shift Narsingh and his sparring partners to another venue, possibly to SAI’s Kandivili centre in Mumbai. The request was turned down. It is understood that SAI authorities, including Srinivas, are in touch with the police.
While the sport’s body has decided to not act in haste, Sushil’s supporters have been active on social media with videos supporting the two-time Olympic medallist’s demand to hold trials in the 74kg weight category.
One supporter posted: “Sushil ka trial karao (Sushil should get a trial) outside the 21, Ashoka Road residence of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.”
Narsingh, though, said he had no reason to feel threatened.
“I am aware of the report but I don’t think anyone will deliberately hurt me. We are like brothers so I am not bothered,” Narsingh, who is a deputy superintendent of police in Maharashtra, said on Thursday.
His personal coach Jagmal Singh, who is attached with the Indian team, said they would raise the issue with WFI.
“We have to apprise the federation of this situation. We will write to it possibly by Friday,” he said.
Meanwhile, Narsingh met Brij Bhushan on Thursday and sought assurance over his spot in the Rio-bound team.
“He wanted to know whether he should concentrate on training or also prepare for the trials. He was told to concentrate on the camp,” said a source.