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Business News/ News / India/  Wrestlers' protest: 'Difficult to stand against power' Vinesh Phogat
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Wrestlers' protest: 'Difficult to stand against power' Vinesh Phogat

The wrestlers are continuously protesting against sexual harassment charges against the WFI chief and are demanding his arrest.

Wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik address the media during a press conference over their ongoing protest against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Singh (ANI Photo)Premium
Wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik address the media during a press conference over their ongoing protest against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Singh (ANI Photo)

Amid the ongoing wrestlers' protest at Jantar Mantar Delhi against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, India's ace wrestler Vinesh Phogat has said that it is tough to stand against a powerful person who is misusing his power and position for a very long time.

The wrestlers are continuously protesting against sexual harassment charges against the WFI chief and are demanding his arrest. While addressing the media, Olympian Vinesh said, "It is very difficult to stand against a person who is misusing his power and position for so long."

Also Read: Wrestlers’ protest: ‘Request you with folded hands not to…’ Vinesh Phogat to sister Babita 

She further revealed that the wrestlers had met an official before they started their protest in Jantar Mantar, for the first time. But, no action was taken.

She said, “Three-Four months before we sat at Jantar Mantar, we had met an official, we had told him everything that how women athletes are sexually harassed and mentally tortured when no action was taken, then we sat on Dharna."

She also slammed Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur for not taking any action and suppressing the matter by forming a committee.

"We ended our protest after talking to Union Sports Minister (Anurag Thakur), and all the athletes had told him about the sexual harassment. He by forming a committee tried to suppress the matter there; no action was taken that time," She said.

Bajrang Punia addressed the allegations that they are protesting against new rules introduced for the Olympics.

He said, "He (Brij Bhusan) is saying that we have made some rules for the Olympics and therefore these athletes are protesting; firstly, this is not about the Olympics, this is against sexual harassment. And if I talk about the Olympic rule; the federation will take trails of athletes coming from the Olympics, whoever they want."

Earlier on Monday, Brij Bhushan Shran Singh said that he would resign ‘if his party asked him to’. In an interview with ANI, he said, “If my party asks me to resign, I will resign...Forces involved in 'Tukde Tukde gang', Shaheen Bagh, 'Kisaan Andolan' seem to be involved in it (Wrestlers' protest), I am not their target, party (BJP ) is their target, these athletes are paid. Protest is expanding like Shaheen Bagh, they want to divide UP and Haryana." He also alleged that wrestler Bajrang Punia had asked someone to “arrange a girl" in order to level sexual harassment charges under the POCSO act. 

Earlier on Saturday, the WFI chief asserted that if he resigns from his post it would mean that he has accepted the allegations which have been raised by the wrestlers. Reacting to World Wrestling Federation Chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's remark she said that all they wanted was justice.

The Delhi Police on Friday registered two FIRs against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over allegations of sexual harassment and exploitation of female wrestlers by him. He also said that 90 per cent of Haryana players stand with him while only one wrestling family continues to protest at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.Earlier on April 26, Wrestlers held a candle march at Jantar Mantar urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to listen to their 'Mann Ki Baat'.

While talking to the media, Sakshee said, "We urge PM Modi to listen to our Mann Ki Baat. Even Smriti Irani ji is not listening to us. We are trying to show them the light through this candle march," said Sakshee to the media.

Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist wrestler Bajrang Punia and star wrestlers like Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik on Friday said that they will continue their protest against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh until he is sent behind bars.

Top Indian grapplers such as Vinesh Phogat, Sakshee Malikkh, Bajrang Punia, and many others wrestlers are involved in the protest against the WFI chief. Over the last six days, the wrestlers have slept and trained at the protest site near Jantar Mantar in the national capital. 

(With inputs from ANI)

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Published: 03 May 2023, 05:23 AM IST
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