Death penalty to Haryana wrestling coach for killing 6 | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Death penalty to Haryana wrestling coach for killing 6

BySunil Rahar, Rohtak
Feb 24, 2024 05:50 AM IST

The court handed out the death sentence to Singh under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 201 (removing evidence) of the Indian Penal Code

A court in Rohtak on Friday awarded the death penalty to a 34-year-old former wrestling coach for a grisly murder spree in which he killed six people, including a couple and their three-year-old son, inside a wrestling arena in Rohtak in 2021.

Singh plotted the murders after Amarjeet Dalal had sacked him from his job as wrestling coach at the Mehar Singh Akhara in Rohtak following complaints from a woman wrestler (AP)
Singh plotted the murders after Amarjeet Dalal had sacked him from his job as wrestling coach at the Mehar Singh Akhara in Rohtak following complaints from a woman wrestler (AP)

Sukhvinder Singh, the accused, had gone on a premeditated murder spree on February 12, 2021, after he was sacked as a wrestling coach over complaints by a 17-year-old female wrestler and was barred from entering a college gymnasium.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

The court handed him the death sentence under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 201 (removing evidence) of the Indian Penal Code and imposed a penalty of 1.26 lakh on Singh, a resident of Baroda village in Sonepat district. He was also convicted under sections 25, 29 and 27(3) of the Arms Act.

“This case falls in the category of the rarest of rare. In such circumstances, this court has no alternative except to switch over to the death penalty instead of life imprisonment,” said additional district and sessions judge Gagan Geet Kaur while pronouncing the judgment.

Singh, a certified coach from the National Institute of Sports in Patiala, had shot dead six people – his colleague Manoj Malik, Malik’s wife Sakshi, their three-year-old son Sartaj, wrestling coaches Satish Kumar, Pradeep Malik and a national-level female wrestler Pooja – in a revenge-fuelled rampage three years ago. Another person Amarjeet Dalal was also shot in the incident, but survived, said Jai Hooda, a counsel for the victims.

The court also found Singh’s aide Manoj Kumar, an Uttar Pradesh resident, guilty under section 29 of the arms act sentenced him to a three-year jail term for providing weapons and fined him 5,000.

Singh plotted the murders after Amarjeet Dalal had sacked him from his job as wrestling coach at the Mehar Singh Akhara in Rohtak following complaints from a woman wrestler (Pooja, one of the victims) and wrestling coach Manoj Malik had asked him in 2021 not to visit the gymnasium at Rohtak’s Jat College, according to a police officer who asked not to be identified.

“He first killed coach Pradeep, and then proceeded to kill coaches Manoj and Satish. Then he killed Sakshi Malik, Pooja and Sakshi’s son,” the officer cited above said. “He killed the three coaches in one room, while he murdered the two women and the child in another room and then locked the gates.”

Singh was subsequently arrested from Delhi a day after the murders on February 13, and brought to Rohtak.

While pronouncing the judgment, the judge said that the gruesome murders had raised doubts about the safety of wrestling academies, or akharas, in the minds of millions of people in Haryana and beyond.

“The mass murder of wrestlers and coaches inside an akhara, during evening practice, in a planned and premeditated manner has not caused only individual losses to the family of the six victims, but also tarnished the image of the state of Haryana, which has brought laurels for India by bringing medals in the sports of wrestling at national and international level,” the judge said.

During the hearing of the case, Sukhvinder’s lawyers had asked the court to take a lenient view while sentencing him as he has a seven-year-old son.

The court, however, firmly discarded the plea.

“Why does he deserves any leniency? He dragged a two-year-old child into a room where he had already murdered the boy’s mother (Sakshi). He did not think about the trauma he would inflict upon a child in the final moments of seeing his dead mother lying in a pool of blood. Then he proceeded to shoot the child in the head. Why did he not think of his seven-year-old son, in whose name he is now praying for leniency, then? The convict cannot be expected to have the heart of a father,” the judge remarked.

“The accused committed the murder of a 17-year-old national woman wrestler as he could not tolerate that she took the side of the deceased coaches – Manoj, Pradeep and Satish. He also went to the extent of her character assassination and during cross examination. He asserted that she had illicit relationships with deceased Manoj and Satish... The person is of such a mentality, that after killing a poor innocent girl, has been defaming her after the murder,” the judge said.

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Lok Sabha Election 2024 Live, Delhi Election 2024 Live, Election 2024 Date, Weather Today along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, May 27, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On