Wrestlers are thinking of protesting at Ramlila Maidan
India’s top wrestlers, including Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik and Asian Games gold-winner Vinesh Phogat, have been protesting at Jantar Mantar here for the past 24 days. They are demanding the arrest of Brij Bhushan, who has been accused of alleged sexual harassment by seven female wrestlers, including a minor.
Protesting wrestlers demanding the arrest of former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on Tuesday indicated that they may take their agitation to Ramlila Maidan to make it a ‘national movement’. India’s top wrestlers, including Olympic medalists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik and Asian Games gold-winner Vinesh Phogat, have been protesting at Jantar Mantar here for the last 24 days. They are demanding the arrest of Brij Bhushan, who has been accused of alleged sexual harassment by seven female wrestlers, including a minor.
Responding to Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad’s suggestion to make the current campaign a ‘national movement’ by taking it to Ramlila Maidan, a bigger venue than Jantar Mantar, Sakshi said, “We will discuss (protest at Ramlila Maidan) among ourselves.” Azad joined the protesting wrestlers at Jantar Mantar on Monday evening but was asked to leave by the night by the authorities. On Tuesday, he returned again with his supporters. He urged the wrestlers to take a decision after May 21 to take their agitation to Ramlila Maidan and make it ‘bigger’.
Khap panchayats have set this deadline for the government to take action against Brijbhushan. Sakshi, however, did not clarify whether the wrestlers would completely shift the venue of the protest to Ramlila Maidan or continue the agitation at Jantar Mantar as well. On Monday, Vinesh said that wrestlers felt they were confined and pushed into a corner at Jantar Mantar and would agitate elsewhere. He also alleged that the wrestlers were being chased to the protest site at Jantar Mantar. An ad-hoc committee constituted by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has taken over charge of the national federation from WFI officials but wrestler Brij Bhushan is firm on his demand for arrest.
Azad said in his speech, “Even if you people (wrestlers and their supporters) keep sitting here (at Jantar Mantar), it will have no effect on the government. This is your (wrestlers’) movement, we will support you wholeheartedly and will not take any decision on your behalf. Want to create a bigger movement.” The wrestlers took out a march at Connaught Place on Monday in keeping with their objective of connecting as many people as possible and making them aware of the alleged harassment at the hands of Brij Bhushan.
On Tuesday, they decided to hit the streets of Delhi again by taking out a procession from Jantar Mantar to Hanuman Mandir near Connaught Place. The wrestlers on Monday decided to take their “movement global” and reach out to Olympic medalists and sportspersons in other countries to highlight their plight.
Disclaimer:Prabhasakshi has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.
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