‘Bajrang getting calls bik jao, toot jao': Sakshi Malik on pressure on wrestlers. Top points

Jun 10, 2023 10:00 PM IST

Wrestlers called a 'Panchayat' at Chhotu Ram Dharamshaala in Sonepat on Saturday where they talked about their protest so far and their future course of action.

Olympic medal-winning wrestler Bajrang Punia on Saturday said Wrestling Federation of India's former chief Brij Bhushan was using his influence to force the complainants to change their statements while Sakshi Malik said Bajrang was getting calls, bik jao, toot jao (take bribe, end the protest). "Wrong narratives are being set (by media). It breaks our hearts," Sakshi Malik said. The wrestlers called a 'Panchayat' at Chhotu Ram Dharamshaala in Sonepat district on Saturday where they talked about their protest so far and their future course of action seeking justice.

Wrestlers Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia(ANI)
Wrestlers Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia(ANI)

Wrestlers' protest will resume if Brij Bhushan not arrested by June 15: Top points

1) Speaking about the alleged pressure by Brij Bhushan on women wrestlers, Sakshi Malik said during the Panchayat that Brij Bhushan should be arrested first and then the investigation should take place. “If he is in police custody, he can't pressurise. Otherwise, one by one, victims will break. Till he is out, an atmosphere of terror will remain.”

2) Bajrang Punia said during the Panchayat, "We had called this Panchayat to inform everyone the discussion we had. If a strong action is not taken by June 15, we will resume our protest." He also said that the next venue of protests could be “Jantar Mantar or Ram Leela Maidan”.

3) Punia said, “We have met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur. The government assured the wrestlers that our demands will be heard. If necessary, we will protest after 15th June and none of the wrestlers will resume their government duties after we start our protest. If we do not resume our protest, all the wrestlers will get back to their government jobs.”

4) Addressing reports that the minor complainant whose father later changed the statements was not a minor, Punia said, “Family can only tell if she is a minor or not but if something wrong has happened with her, then if she is a minor or not, wrong is wrong.”

5) Punia said, “Her (the minor girl) father said that there was a lot of pressure on him, which is why I took this decision to change my statement. He also said that his entire family was in depression. A man can be forced to say anything under pressure.”

6) Sakshi Malik too said the father of the minor wrestler was evidently under pressure. “Pressure is being built. For how long we will fight then,” Sakshi said.

7) “We will not compete in Asian Games until a proper resolution comes out in this case. You can't understand the mental agony we are going through everyday,” said Sakshi Malik at the panchayat.

8) Punia questioned the investigating SIT's decision to take women wrestlers to WFI office on Friday. “The SIT team took the women wrestlers to the location, the WFI office, yesterday. Some news channels said that wrestlers went to compromise, it wasn't like that. But it was later revealed that Brij Bhushan was inside and the police earlier said he wasn't.”

7) “I feel like women wrestlers are being scared by the police,” Punia said.

8) On several rumours on the protest, Sakshi Malik said, "Let me tell you that Sakshi, Bajrang and Vinesh are one. Vinesh is handling the legal issue, there is lot of other work as well. Rumours are being spread that we are stepping back. We are one, we are united in our decisions.”

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    Sanskriti Falor is a Senior Content Producer at the News Desk of HT Digital. Having worked in Digital Media for the past two years, she is interested in covering civic issues and global affairs.

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