Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist wrestler Bajrang Punia and star wrestlers like Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik on Friday said that they will continue their protest against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh until he is sent behind bars. Indian wrestlers are protesting at Jantar Mantar in the national capital against WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over allegations of sexual harassment. Top Indian grapplers such as Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, and many other wrestlers are involved in the protest against the WFI chief.
On the 6th day of the protest, wrestlers addressed the media after the Delhi Police agreed to register an FIR against the WFI President.
“I’d like to thank all the athletes who have come out in our support. Abhinav Bindra and Neeraj Chopra have supported us because they understand the value of athletes. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh should be imprisoned soon. He’d continue to misuse his position and he needs to be put behind bars. We’ll protest till the time he goes to jail. We also have to see the sections that the Delhi police have imposed on him. People who felt that our protest will be over after the FIR were wrong and we are in our right to decide on it. All of us protesting need security and the complainants need security because you never know who wants to harm us,” Bajrang Punia said at the press conference.
VIDEO | “I want to thank the Supreme Court for directing the police to file a case as this marks our first step towards victory. However, our protest will continue,” says wrestler Sakshi Malik on wrestlers’ protest against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. pic.twitter.com/wOeFl1OKHL
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) April 28, 2023
Star grappler Phogat appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack the WFI chief from all positions. “We don’t trust Delhi police, they took 6 days to register an FIR. We’ll see what they do. We are adamant on our stand to imprison the WFI President. I appeal to the Prime Minister of India to remove the WFI president from all his responsibilities. This is related to all the sports and I’d urge them to come out in our support and I want to stay in touch with all of them. This is when you safeguard the future of sports and athletes in the country. All the renowned sports people should come out and support us and save Indian sports. If they don’t come out today, they’ll never be able to safeguard India’s sporting culture,” Vinesh Phogat said at the press conference.
“We have already given enough evidence and if anything else is required, we’ll present it to Supreme Court not to the Delhi police. This is not a fight to register an FIR. This is a fight against one person who already has 85 cases against him. We need to free wrestling of corrupt people. We’ll respect the decision made by Supreme Court and will act according to their orders,” she added.
“I’d like to thank all the women who’ve come out in our support. We don’t trust the Delhi police at all, they registered the FIR after Supreme Court’s orders. We just demand a fair investigation. We just want Brij Bhushan to be removed from all the positions and he should be punished accordingly and only then we’ll end our protest,” Sakshi Malik said.
Earlier, Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra on Friday came in support of the ongoing wrestlers’ protest and said that he was ‘hurt’ to see athletes on the streets demanding justice. “It hurts me to see our athletes on the streets demanding justice. They have worked hard to represent our great nation and make us proud,” Tokyo Olympics gold medallist said in a tweet on Friday.
He said,” As a nation, we are responsible for safeguarding the integrity and dignity of every individual, athlete or not.” “What’s happening should never happen. This is a sensitive issue and must be dealt with in an impartial and transparent manner. Pertaining authorities must take quick action in order to ensure that justice is served,” Chopra added.
India’s ace tennis player Sania Mirza too has come out in support of wrestlers who are protesting at Jantar Mantar here in the national capital against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over allegations of sexual harassment.
Sania said in a tweet that as an athlete as well as a woman, it is too “difficult” to watch the ongoing protest and now it’s time to stand with the wrestlers in this difficult time. “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,” said Sania Mirza in her tweet.
Along with Sania, Indian field hockey player Rani Rampal also came forward to extend her support to the wrestlers who continue to protest at Jantar Mantar. “Extremely painful to see our renowned wrestlers demanding justice on the streets of India it tears me apart to see my fellow athletes in this situation who have worked hard in their lives and won great laurels for our beloved country. They deserve justice,” said Rani Rampal in her tweet.
Wrestlers Demand WFI Chief’s Arrest, Vow To Continue Protest Due To Lack Of Trust In Delhi Police