Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Congress general secretary met protesting wrestlers at Jantar Mantar in the national capital on Saturday and extended solidarity to them.
Kejriwal said requested the Centre to not cut off water, electricity and other basic facilities at Jantar Mantar. While hitting out at the Centre for allegedly protecting BJP MP and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the Delhi CM said those who harass men should be hanged to death.
Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Bajrang Punia on Saturday reiterated his accusation that the Delhi police has cut electricity and ration supplies at the wrestlers’ protest site in New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.
Vinesh Phogat too admitted that due to lack of necessities and hovering mosquitoes, she has caught fever.
In an Instagram video, he quoted the assistant commissioner of police (ACP) as saying that the cops “won’t allow food and water, no matter what”.
He alleged that the problem began after the Supreme Court sent a notice to Delhi police to register an FIR against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on charges of sexual harassment levelled by seven women wrestlers.
#WATCH | Police said that if you want to protest, sleep on the road. What kind of pressure has come on them today, there was no such problem before, this has happened only because of the pressure of the Supreme Court: Wrestler Bajrang Punia on registering FIR against WFI chief… pic.twitter.com/XpeVtQJMZ9— ANI (@ANI) April 29, 2023
Punia also accused the police of barricading the protest site and ‘beating up’ people who were assigned to deliver supplies to them. “Until justice is served, we will protest no matter how much the police administration tortures us,” he asserted.
Demanding that sports should be separated from politics, wrestler Satyawart Kadian, husband of Olympian Sakshi Malik said that their “on-paper fight” has just begun.
Delhi | It is good that FIR has been registered. What will we get from the FIR? Will FIR get us justice? Delhi Police should have lodged an FIR on the very first day. Our on-paper fight has just started. Let’s see what our legal team & coaches have to say. We are demanding that… pic.twitter.com/Wky5Llo7HD— ANI (@ANI) April 29, 2023
List of Popular Faces Supporting Protesting Wrestlers
The film and sporting fraternity and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee put their weight behind the protesting wrestlers with Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra leading the way calling for “quick action” to ensure that justice is served. Banerjee, who is the chief of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), said the guilty must be brought to book, irrespective of their political affiliation.
“Shameful that our top International athletes are forced to protest on streets against sexual harassment but accused BJP MP is being consistently shielded by the govt. #IStandWithMyChampions Sack & investigate #BrijBhushanSharanSingh,” actor Swara Bhasker posted on Twitter.
- Kejriwal said those who harass men should be hanged to death.
- Kejriwal extended support to wrestlers and requested the Centre to not cut off water, electricity and other basic facilities.
#WATCH| Delhi: “Those who love our country, whether they’re from Congress, AAP or BJP and even if not affiliated with any party, must take off and come here to extend support to them (wrestlers)…we will provide all the support to these athletes but I request Central govt to not… pic.twitter.com/F4RhQ78E8P— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) April 29, 2023
- Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal met protesting wrestlers at Jantar Mantar.
- Bajrang Punia on Saturday questioned the government inquiry. He said that the details of the investigation, including the name of the minor accuser, have been leaked. “Who is leaking the details of the investigation?” he asked.
- Sakshi Malik requested people to protest from their own cities, if they are unable to reach Jantar Mantar. As the crowd at the protest site swelled on day seven, the wrestlers thanked Indians for backing them. “It’s not about the nationals (games) but about harassment,” said Bajrang Punia.
- Elaborating on the continuous harassment by Brij Bhushan, Vinesh Phogat said that the WFI president used to even force them to invite him to their weddings. She said that they were helpless back then and couldn’t raise their voice as they had to play nationals. “But now, women wrestlers are gathering courage and speaking up against the sexual abuse,” Phogat added.
- Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra met the protesting wrestlers at Jantar Mantar. Vadra questioned why wasn’t Delhi police showing the FIRs against Brij Bhushan. “No one is aware of what is there in the FIR which has been lodged. Why they are not showing it?” she asked.
No one is aware of what is there in the FIR which has been lodged. Why they are not showing it? When these wrestlers win medals we all tweet and feel proud but today they are sitting on road and not getting justice. All these women wrestlers struggle a lot to come to this stage.… pic.twitter.com/yXhhzkjnT7— ANI (@ANI) April 29, 2023
#WATCH | “I don’t have any expectations from the PM, because if he is worried about these wrestlers, then why has he not talked to them or met them yet. Why the govt is trying to save him (Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh…,” says Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Delhi pic.twitter.com/XLDpIruQHv— ANI (@ANI) April 29, 2023
- Meanwhile, WFI president Brij Bhushan said that he is yet to receive copy of the FIR.
#WATCH | “I have not yet received the FIR copy. I will speak once I’ve received the FIR copy,” says Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, President, Wrestling Federation of India on wrestlers’ protest against him and FIRs registered by Delhi police pic.twitter.com/FvU1FxkI35— ANI (@ANI) April 29, 2023
- Later in the day, Brij Bhushan held a sudden press conference at his residence in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda. He told the reporters that resigning is not a big deal for him but if he quits, it would mean that he has accepted the wrestlers’ allegations. He further claimed that an industrialist is involved in the entire matter. Speaking on Priyanka Gandhi’s visit, the WFI president said that the Congress leader does not know the while matter.
“I did not get the lawmaker’s position by the grace of Vinesh Phogat. The same family and the same akhada is protesting. This will not work,” he added.
#WATCH | Resignation is not a big deal but I am not a criminal. If I resign, it will mean that I have accepted their (wrestlers’) allegations. My tenure is almost over. Govt has formed a 3-member committee and elections will be held in 45 days & my term will end after the… pic.twitter.com/0NL38KCz43— ANI (@ANI) April 29, 2023
- Congress MP Deepender Hooda met them on Friday and called for a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the issues raised by the wrestlers to find out who were “protecting” the accused.
- The wrestlers have put up huge banners at the protest site, listing all the ongoing criminal proceedings against Brij Bhushan. “This is first step towards victory but our protest will continue,” Sakshi Malik told reporters.
- Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the wrestlers in Supreme Court, on Friday expressed his worries about the safety and security of the protesting grapplers. Without naming anyone, he said 14 cases are pending against “this gentleman”, including one under section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code(IPC).
- “Bearing in mind the content which has been placed on record, we direct the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, to make an assessment of the threat perception and provide adequate security to the minor girl involved,” the Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha said in its order.
- It said an affidavit be filed before it on or before May 5, the next date of hearing, about the steps taken for the security of the minor girl.
- Delhi Police on Friday filed two FIRs against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. While the first FIR pertains to allegations of a minor wrestler and was registered under POCSO Act, the second was related to outraging modesty.
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