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'Newcomer, Not the U-23 World Championship Winner, Killed': Clarifies Coach

Nisha and her brother were shot dead by unknown assailants at a wrestling academy in Sonepat's Halalpur.

Updated
India
2 min read

After conflicting media reports surrounding a wrestler's death emerged on Wednesday, 10 November, a coach who travelled with the Indian Team clarified that the wrestler shot dead in Sonepat was a newcomer and namesake of U-23 world championship bronze-medallist Nisha Dahiya, news agency PTI reported.

Nisha and her brother were shot dead by unknown assailants at Sunil Kumar Wrestling Academy in Sonepat's Halalpur, Haryana. Nisha's mother, who was also shot, was later admitted to PGI, Rohtak. Enraged villagers set fire to the academy.

Nisha's father Dayanand Dahiya said that the accused had been harassing her.

"She had told her mother about it. I had warned my daughter about the academy, but she was brainwashed by them (accused). They were continuously demanding money for different reasons," he was quoted as saying by ANI.

The Sonepat police later announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for information on the accused and also took several people into custody. The police also shared information with the local panchayat.

Four crime branch teams of Sonepat police were reportedly conducting raids at several places and on the lookout for the accused.

"The reason behind the killing is being probed. Mother has accused the coach of harassing Nisha," Mayank Gupta, ASP, Kharkhoda, Sonepat, said.

Sonepat SP Rahul Sharma reiterated this late in the day saying:

"As per prima facie investigation, the girl, who was about 20 years of age and trained at the academy, was shot dead along with her brother."
SP Rahul Sharma

He went on to say that her mother is injured, and added that four police teams, including CIA teams, from Kharkhoda and Gohana are searching for the coach, Pawan, and co-accused.

The reason behind the murder is not yet known, the SP stated, adding that an investigation in the matter is underway.

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However, according to police sources, Nisha was murdered after she protested against molestation attempts. Nisha had gone to the wrestling academy along with her mother and brother, where her coach Pawan and his associates opened fire on them, the sources added.

Nisha's father has further alleged that Pawan, a man of "criminal nature", had been "brainwashing" his daughter, luring her with the promise of playing at the national level.

A panchayat convened by the villagers on Thursday demanded the immediate arrest of the assailants, and urged the police to put a Rs 5 lakh cash reward on their heads.

National-Level Wrestler Nisha Dahiya Clarifies She Is Fine

Earlier, the national-level wrestler had clarified in a video that she is 'totally fine' and the reports of her death are 'fake news'.

In a video doing the rounds on the internet, the world championship bronze medallist said:

“Hello, my name is Nisha. I have come to play senior nationals (tournament) in Gonda, and I am totally fine. And it (the news of her death) is fake news. I am totally fine.”

Wrestler Sakshi Malik also took to Twitter to reiterate that Dahiya is safe.

Last week, on Friday, 5 November, Nisha Dahiya bagged a bronze medal in 65 kg at Wrestling U-23 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. PM Narendra Modi also praised her along with other women wrestlers for their breakthrough performance.

(The Quint had earlier erroneously reported that the national-level wrestler Nisha Dahiya had been killed. The error has since been fixed and is sincerely regretted.)

(With inputs from PTI and Utkarsh Singh.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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