Saturday, February 24, 2024

Expect Sunday’s mahapanchayat to be a huge success: Protesting wrestlers

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The protesting wrestling are hoping that the khap mahapanchayat scheduled at Jantar Mantar on Sunday will be of huge success and will help in getting more support for them in their fight against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Top wrestlers of the country, including Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat, are protesting for the last two weeks at the Jantar Mantar here, demanding the sacking of Brij Bhushan as WFI chief and his arrest because of the alleged sexual harassment of women grapplers.

“Today is the 14th day of our sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar. The fact is you guys (supporters) are here and we are here too. We would like to thank all who are sitting with us here and supporting us. We would like to thank the entire country for standing with us in this fight for justice,” said Vinesh on Saturday.

“We hope we will achieve success in this fight so that truth prevails.”

Vinesh urged the supporters to be peaceful on Sunday so that bad elements do not hijack the protest.

“Tomorrow, a lot of people are expected to join us from villages… khap panchayats, kisan and mazdoor unions, student organisations to support us. We appeal to everyone to be peaceful. Our success depends on a peaceful demonstration. We also request all who will come tomorrow to cooperate with authorities and police,” said the Asian Games gold medallist.

“We also request the police not to stop our supporters tomorrow.”

Bajrang, an Olympic medallist, has appealed to the countrymen to observe a candlelight march on Sunday to show solidarity with the protesting grapplers.

“We request all Indians to come out with a candlelight march at 7 pm on May 7,” he said.

Another Olympic medallist wrestler Sakshi Malik said they are yet to decide the future course of action as their lawyers are still working on it.

She said the decision to approach a lower court as directed by the Supreme Court can be taken only after the Delhi Police expedites the inquiry and records statements of all the complainants.

“We have discussed with our lawyers. Our statements are yet to be recorded, we have been waiting for that. The police has been given a deadline to complete recording of statements within a time frame. Once the statement is recorded, only then the case can proceed further. We request the police to record our statements as soon as possible,” she said.

Asked whether Sports Minister Anurag Thakur had approached them, she said: There is no approach from his side. He already knows our demands, so it doesn’t make sense to meet him again. If he wants to talk to us, we will definitely talk.”

Bajrang said, the two committees formed on Saturday have the full authority to decide their future course of action.

The wrestlers had on Friday formed two committees to advice them on the future course of action in their fight against Brij Bhushan.

“We have formed two committees and whatever they decide we will abide by that. The entire framework of the protest will be decided by the committee.” PTI SSC AM SSC

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