Wrestlers Protest: India


Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and other wrestlers have been demanding arrest of the WFI chief Brij Bhusan Charan Singh, who has been allegedly accused of sexually harassing the female athletes.

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2016 Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik is being manhandled by Delhi Police. (Image: PTI)

New Delhi: Members of India’s 1983 World Cup-winning cricket team have finally broken their silence and urged the protesting wrestlers to not take any hasty decision and hoped their grievances will be solved soonest.

Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, Commonwealth Games champion Vinesh Phogat along with other Indian wrestlers have been protesting for over a month in Jantar Mantar, demanding arrest of the Wrestling federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhusan Sharan Singh, who has been allegedly accused of sexually harassing the female athletes.

Last week the wrestlers decided to march towards the new Parliament house where police manhandled the athletes and detained them for violation of law and order. Following that the wrestlers threatened to immerse their medals into Ganga but didn’t not do that.

“We are distressed and disturbed at the unseemly visuals of our champion wrestlers being manhandled. We are also most concerned that they are thinking of dumping their hard earned medals into river Ganga,” a statement released to PTI by the 1983 World Cup wining team read. The Police made it clear that the wrestlers will not be allowed back at Jantar Mantar.

“Those medals have involved years of effort, sacrifice, determination, and grit and are not only their own but the nation’s pride and joy. We urge them not to take any hasty decision in this matter and also fervently hope that their grievances are heard and resolved quickly. Let the law of the land prevail,” the statement read further.

Earlier, India’s only Olympic gold medallists Neeraj Chopra and Abhinav Bindra too spoke their heart out on te manhandling of the wrestlers. “It pains me a lot. There has to be a better way to deal with this,” tweeted Neeraj.

“Last night was sleepless, haunted by the horrifying images of my fellow Indian wrestlers protesting. It’s high time we establish independent safeguarding measures across sporting organizations. We must ensure that if such situations arise, they are dealt with utmost sensitivity and respect. Every athlete deserves a safe and empowering environment,” Bindra wrote.

Even former Grand Slam champion Sania Mirza extended solidarity with the protesting wrestlers. “As an athlete but more as a woman this is too difficult to watch .. they’ve brought laurels to our country and we have all celebrated them , with them .. if you have done that then it’s time to now stand with them in this difficult time too .. this is a highly sensitive matter and serious allegations.I hope whatever the truth is justice is served.. sooner rather than later,” she said.

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