Indian kabaddi player shot dead during tournament

Sandeep Nangal hit by ‘around 20-25 bullets’ after returning to his hometown from Britain to help stage a competition

AFP March 15, 2022


A prominent Indian athlete has been shot and killed after returning to the country from his home in Britain to organise a Kabaddi tournament, police told AFP Tuesday.

Kabaddi – which roughly translates to "holding hands" – is a tag-meets-rugby contact sport widely believed to have originated in the South Asian nation thousands of years ago.

Footage widely shared on social media showed the body of Sandeep Nangal – known as "gladiator" in the circles of the locally popular contact sport – with visible gunshot wounds on his face and chest.

The 37-year-old represented India in overseas kabaddi contests, according to local media, and had settled in the United Kingdom but travelled to his hometown to help stage a competition.

"He was shot with around 20-25 bullets when he was overseeing the tournament matches and was declared dead when his body reached the nearest hospital," Punjab state police officer Parminder Singh told AFP by phone.

"We are in the hunt to nab the attackers and have launched an investigation into the whole episode."

Kabaddi underwent a glitzy makeover in 2014 when players were auctioned, like in the hugely successful Indian Premier League cricket tournament, with businesses and Bollywood stars paying big money to recruit players for franchise teams


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