They had flown in from distant countries to participate in a wrestling event billed as 'India versus Rest of the World — War of Legends'. So when they heard the competition had been indefinitely postponed, they went berserk.
A clutch of international wrestlers gathered at the Ludhiana press club for what they thought would be a press conference introducing them to the media before the wrestling tournament slated to begin on Friday.
Instead they heard MP Singh, the spokesman for the organisers who had invited them, declare that since they had not been able to get the requisite sanctions from the local authorities, the event would not begin as scheduled. Adding that ticket money would be refunded, the organisers promptly scooted from the spot.
Unable to vent their anger on the organisers, the burly wrestlers turned on the mediapersons. It started with Nikita, a Russian wrestler, hurling first abuse and then chairs and tables at the journalists seated before them. "You ugly Indians, you are cheats," he roared into the mike. "I dare you to fight with me." He started thrashing whoever he found close to him. Other wrestlers joined in and a free-for-all ensued.
Some mediapersons were injured. Fortunately Indian wrestler 'Tiger' Jeet Singh and his son 'Tiger' Ali Singh stood up to defend the mediapersons, both declaring that they were ready to fight Nikita.