Protesting Wrestlers Turn Jantar Mantar into Training Centre

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Published By: Ritayan Basu

Last Updated: April 26, 2023, 14:21 IST

Indian wrestlers at Jantar Mantar (Twitter)

Indian wrestlers at Jantar Mantar (Twitter)

Indian wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Vinesh Phogat with others were seen doing wrestling exercises at Jantar Mantar

Top Indian wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and other young grapplers have turned Jantar Mantar into their training centre, amid protest against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

On Day 4 of the protest, the grapplers were seen doing wrestling exercises. Vinesh was training with Sangita Phogat, whereas Sakshi was helped by her husband Satyawart Kadian, the Arjuna awardee wrestler.

Meanwhile, a physio was assisting Bajrang on the mat, before the Olympic bronze medallist did some stretching.

They all looked tired but their passion for sport was evident despite sleepless nights.

“We will not go from here till we get justice. And we are ready to face the punishment if we are wrong. Wrestling is everything for us and we want to keep ourselves fit both mentally and physically. We will keep practicing here,” Bajrang told IANS.

A coach said, “Fitness is important in every fight. Our wrestlers understand it. They have made India proud several times. It feels bad that they are working out here at Jantar Mantar at the protest area, when they should be in the stadium as major tournaments are coming in a couple of months.

“Government should make a decision quickly and help them,” he added.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Delhi Police informed the Supreme Court that some preliminary inquiry may be needed to be conducted before an FIR can be registered into a complaint by wrestlers alleging sexual harassment by Brij Bhushan.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud that some preliminary inquiry may be needed but if this court orders, then FIR can be registered. Mehta said that the authorities think that some inquiry should be there.

The Chief Justice replied that the court would also not want to do something unless there is some material. The bench asked Mehta to furnish the material on Friday and pointed out that the matter involves a minor.

On April 25, senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Narender Hooda mentioned the petition before the court, a plea filed by wrestlers.

The top court had said: “There are serious allegations of sexual harassment in the petition, which is instituted by professional international wrestlers who have represented India. The matter requires the consideration of this court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution. Issue notice, returnable on 28 April 2023. Liberty to serve the Standing Counsel for the NCT of Delhi.”

The bench, in its order, said: “The complaints which form a part of an attachment to the petition in a sealed cover shall again be resealed and placed together with the petition under Article 32 on the next date of listing, to protect the complainants.”

The plea filed by wrestlers said they attempted several times to convince Delhi Police to register an FIR, but they failed.

The plea said women athletes, who make our nation proud, are facing sexual harassment, and instead of getting the support they deserve, they are being forced to run from pillar to post to get justice.

It said the accused person in this case is an influential person and is misusing the process of law to evade justice and further manipulating the legal system and obstructing justice.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)

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