A day after wrestler Sakshee Malikkh and husband Satyawart Kadian released a video revealing 'the truth' behind the protest, wrestler and BJP leader Babita Phogat hit out against them calling “a puppet in the hands of Congress”.
Malikkh in the video emphasised that their protest was against the misdeeds of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and not the government. “This (protest) is not Congress supported...we were silent for years because wrestlers were not united. These wrestlers came from poor families and it is not easy to muster courage to take on a powerful man,” said Malikkh in the video.
The wrestlers, who were protesting against the WFI chief demanding his arrest in Jantar Mantar, faced several criticism with many labelling the protest to be a politically motivated one.
“The permission for our first protest at Jantar Mantar in January was taken by two BJP leaders. It was written by Tirath Rana and Babita Phogat. So how could our protest be orchestrated by Congress?” said Kadian in the video.
A letter seeking the permission for protest was shown in the video by Malikkh.
एक कहावत है कि— Babita Phogat (@BabitaPhogat) June 18, 2023
ज़िंदगी भर के लिये आपके माथे पर कलंक की निशानी पड़ जाए।
बात ऐसी ना कहो दोस्त की कह के फिर छिपानी पड़ जाएँ ।
मुझे कल बड़ा दुःख भी हुआ और हँसी भी आई जब मैं अपनी छोटी बहन और उनके पतिदेव का विडीओ देख रही थी , सबसे पहले तो मैं ये स्पष्ट कर दूँ की जो अनुमति का काग़ज़… https://t.co/UqDMAF0qap
However, Phogat in her latest tweet responded to the video saying that “I felt very sad and laughed too when I was watching the video of my younger sister and her husband, first of all I want to make it clear that the permission paper which younger sister was showing did not have my signature or my name anywhere on it. There is no proof of consent.”
Phogat also added that she from day one had advised them to have faith in the Prime Minister and the judicial system in the country. “The truth will definitely come out...I repeatedly told all the wrestlers that you meet Honorable Prime Minister Or the Home Minister, the solution will be from there itself,” she said.
But instead they sought solution from Congress's Priyanka Gandhi, Deepender S. Hooda and other people who themselves are guilt of rape and other cases, she added.
Phogat criticised the wrestlers for embarrassing the country. “The people of the country are now seeing the faces of these opposition...When this video of yours is in front of everyone, the people of the country will now understand that...your protest during the new Parliament inauguration day and the matter of immersing medals won for the nation in the Ganges was embarrassing the country,” she said.
She also urged them to reveal the real intention behind the protest.
“Sister, you may eat bread made of almond flour, but I and the people of my country eat bread made of wheat...everyone understands...The people of the country have understood that you have become a puppet in the hands of the Congress...Now the time has come that you should tell your real intention,” she added.
In the video Kadian said that the police brutality they faced on May 28 broke them. The police had detained them and pushed them into buses after they took out a protest march to the new Parliament during its inauguration.
"Let me make it clear that the call for 'Mahila Samman Mahapanchayat' was made by the Khap leaders and we followed their order and faced police brutality. That broke us...We won so many medals for country and our dignity was being trampled. I can't explain in words what we went through,” he said in 11-minute video.
"We then decided to immerse medals in (Haridwar) but one man from the tantra (system) grabbed Bajrang's arm and took him to a corner and made him speak with many (influential) people...If we had done that (immersed medals), there could have been violence. So, better sense prevailed. We gave the medals to coaches and parents,” he said.
"We were not in a mental state to understand if there's a conspiracy. We had gone their under stress. We have just wrestled our whole life, did not know how to handle (the situation)...After that incident, we did not know who was on our side, who was part of the system. We met a lot of people but did not know whom to trust. We were advised to meet the Home Minister, we were told that we will get solution from there, so we put across our view point,” Kadian said in the video.
The Delhi Police had filed a charge-sheet against WFI Chief Brij Bhushan for offences of sexual harassment and stalking.