Wrestlers protest enters next level; awaits khap's 'big decision'

The 15 days ultimatum to arrest WFI chief ends today

Wrestlers protest Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat (C), Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia during a press conference amid wrestlers protest, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi | PTI

The top wrestlers protesting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi will decide on their next course of action as the police failed to take proper action against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. An ultimatum of 15 days given by the protesters to take action against the WFI chief ends on Sunday.

The wrestlers have been staging the protest since April 23 this year. The protesting wrestlers had told that they will go ahead with the decision taken by the 'mahapanchayat' in Mehem Chaubisi khap in Haryana's Rohtak district, where community leaders, farmers organisations are expected to participate.

"The decision our elders take (on Sunday) could be a big one, one that might not be in the interest of the country, it could hurt the nation," said Vinesh Phogat at a press conference at Jantar Mantar.

With the farmers expected to arrive at Jantar Mantar, the Delhi police has tightened the security at the venue of the wrestlers protest.

Meanwhile, the wrestlers alleged that they were denied entry by the Delhi police to attend the IPL game at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Saturday. Wrestlers Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia attempted to attend the IPL game to seek support for their protests.

"We had no protest signs, posters or banner but were still turned back," said Punia.

The trio was wearing t-shirts with the slogan 'I Support Wrestlers' written on it.

Meanwhile, Delhi police denied the claims and said that no wrestler with a valid ticket was barred entry. According to a senior official, around 10-12 wrestlers had come to watch the match and only those who did not have tickets was turned back.

On Tuesday, the wrestlers have planned a candlelight march to India Gate as they will complete a month of protest.

Last month, the Delhi Police registered two FIRs against Singh.

The police has also recorded the statement of Singh, as well as the statement of the WFI's assistant secretary Vinod Tomar. The police also informed the court that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe the allegations of sexual harassment levelled by women wrestlers against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president.

The first FIR pertains to allegations levelled by a minor girl which has been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act along with relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code concerning outraging modesty. The second one has been registered over complaints by adults pertaining to modesty outrage.


📣 The Week is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TheWeekmagazine) and stay updated with the latest headlines