Thursday, February 22, 2024

Jantar Mantar cleared out, but wrestlers undeterred: “No point in going home till we get justice…”

Even after the Delhi Police cleared the protest site at Jantar Mantar, India’s top-class wrestlers who have been protesting said that they would continue their agitation against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the BJP MP and Wrestling Federation of India chief, over sexual harassment allegations.

Sakshi Malik, the Olympics medallist, tweeted that the protest was not over.

“After we are released from police custody, we will again start our satyagraha back at Jantar Mantar. Now, there will be satyagraha of women wrestlers… not dictatorship,” read her tweet.

“There is no point in going home till we get justice. For 10 hours, we were detained at different police stations. I was the last one to get released,” India’s ace grappler Bajrang Punia, told reporters after being released.

“It is unfortunate for our country that the new Parliament building was being inaugurated and an accused was present,” said Punia.

Seven female wrestlers including a minor have filed a police complaint against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Another wrestler said to Indian Express, “We will not give up. Punia and others are still detained. Once they are released, we will go back and start our protest. They can remove our belongings.”

Prior to clearing the protest site, the city police had detained wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia as they, along with other protesters, attempted to march to the new Parliament building outside which a women’s mahapanchayat was scheduled.

Over 150 protesters were detained from Jantar Mantar while 550 others, including students, activists, farmers and labour union leaders, were detained from different areas.

Delhi Police have also registered an FIR against the wrestlers and said they will take “stringent” action if they return.

Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia along with other protesters were booked for rioting and obstructing public servant in discharge of duty on after a scuffle with security personnel who tried to stop them from marching to the new Parliament building.


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