Women accompanying wrestlers as well as women wrestlers are being dragged roughly by the Delhi police and there is sharp criticism rising on this.
In the midst of the rough mismanagement of the female wrestlers and their supporters, the Congress charged the BJP-led government at the Centre of trying to save the Wrestling Federation of India led by BJP’s lawmaker, (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Singh. On Thursday, the Congress party set out a fresh onslaught on the ruling dispensation following last night’s scuffle between the protesting wrestlers and Delhi Police at Jantar Mantar here.
The party also reiterated its demand for justice to the protesting wrestlers. Several wrestlers including Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik resumed their protest at Jantar Mantar here on Sunday against Singh accusing Singh of sexual harassment.
“It is very shameful. ‘Beti Bachao’ (Save the girl child) is just ‘hypocrisy’. In fact, BJP has never shied away from doing atrocities against the daughters of India,” former Congress president Rahul Gandhi wrote in a tweet in Hindi, in an apparent reference to last night’s scuffle at Jantar Mantar.
Mirroring a similar sentiment, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “It is very sad to see the tears of sportspersons who brought laurels to the country. They should be listened to and justice should be given.”
Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda also took to Twitter and wrote, “The daughters of the country should get justice. Instead of getting justice, they are being mistreated, it is condemnable.”
Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the matter, Congress’ chairman of the Media and Publicity Department Pawan Khera in a tweet wrote, “Mr Prime Minister, it will take you just 15 minutes to go visit these wrestlers at Jantar Mantar. Show some sensitivity. Please don’t let the world say that the Indian government has betrayed India’s daughters.”
A skirmish broke out between protesting wrestlers and Delhi Police at Jantar Mantar last night. The wrestlers alleged that police personnel misbehaved with them and that some of them were beaten by the cops. Heavy police personnel have been deployed at the protesting site after the incident.
“Police’s hands tremble in catching Brij Bhushan The daughters accompanying the wrestlers are being dragged, Godi media will not show!! Delhi”, tweeted Nasreen Ebrahim.
Police's hands tremble in catching Brij Bhushan The daughters accompanying the wrestlers are being dragged, Godi media will not show!! Delhi pic.twitter.com/v75tsrcgdb
— Nasreen Ebrahim (@EbrahimNasreen) May 3, 2023
The Wrestlers’ Protest in India
The wrestlers’ protest in India is a movement by some of the country’s top female wrestlers who are demanding action against the president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, whom they accuse of sexual harassment. They have been camping on the streets of New Delhi for the last 10 days, holding placards and banners that read “Arrest WFI President” and “Justice for Wrestlers”.
The protesters include Olympic medalists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, Commonwealth Games gold medalist Vinesh Phogat, and other prominent athletes. They allege that Singh and several coaches of the WFI have sexually harassed multiple women wrestlers, including minors, and have created a hostile environment for them.
The Supreme Court of India intervened in the matter and directed the Delhi police to register two cases against Singh, including one for the alleged sexual harassment of a minor. However, the protesters say that this is not enough and they want Singh to be dismissed by the WFI and arrested by the police.
Singh, who is also a lawmaker from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has denied all the allegations and accused the protesters of playing a “political game”. He said he has full faith in the Supreme Court and the Delhi police and is ready for the investigation.
The protest has drawn awareness to the problem of sexual harassment and abuse in Indian sports, especially for women athletes who often face discrimination and lack of support. The protesters say they are fighting for their dignity and for creating a safe and secure place for young wrestlers.