Legendary Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev took to the social media platform Instagram to express his concerns amid the ongoing protest staged by the top wrestlers of the country at the Jantar Mantar, demanding the resignation of WFI president Brij Bhushan Singh, who is alleged to have sexually harassed women wrestlers.
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The 1983 World Cup-winning skipper posted an image of the wrestlers sitting in protest with a caption that read “Will They Ever Get Justice?” on his Instagram account.
The wrestlers restarted their protest against the upper echelons of the WFI and its president Brij Bhushan as the authorities failed to fulfil their promises pertaining to the probe into the issue of the utmost severity.
Initially, the nation’s top wrestlers led by Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik staged a dharna earlier in the year to bring about a change in the culture of WFI and demanded the registration of Brij Bhushan.
An oversight committee was established to look into the allegations and run a probe into the same, as well as to take care of the day-to-day operations of the federations.
In early January, the wrestlers halted their protest after receiving promises from the authorities but were forced to take up yet another demonstration as the powers that be failed to deliver on their promises.
Vinesh Phogat said that they had tried reaching out to the head of the oversight committee, legendary boxer MC Mary Kom, and the sports minister, but received no response.
And the final straw came when seven women wrestlers, including a minor, tried to lodge a police complaint against Brij Bhushan, but the FIR wasn’t registered.
The wrestlers gathered at the Jantar Mantar on Sunday to reignite the protest that has become the talk of the nation.
IOA president PT Usha blasted the wrestlers for their demonstrations as she said that such protests diminish the image of India in the world’s eyes. But, Bajrang Punia hit back at the legendary athlete by recollecting her reactions during a press conference in February this year when she spoke about harassment at her academy in Balussery, Kerala.
“If IOA thinks wrestlers demanding justice is tarnishing the image of the country, what was that when she broke down and explained her plight after being harassed by a few goons at her academy? What had happened then?” asked Bajrang.
“She herself was an athlete and she is also a woman. We did not expect this harsh reaction from her, we expected support,” Bajrang added.