Protesting wrestlers ‘to throw medals in Haridwar's Ganga’ today, sit on hunger strike at India Gate
Wrestlers protesting against Brij Bhushan Singh over sexual harassment allegations said they will throw their medals in river Ganga in Haridwar at 6pm.
India's top wrestlers protesting against Wrestling Federation of India president and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over sexual harassment allegations said they will throw their medals in the river Ganga in Haridwar at 6pm on Tuesday and then sit on an indefinite hunger strike at India Gate in New Delhi.
Wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, who have been protesting against the WFI chief and demanding his arrest, put out a joint statement saying the grapplers will go to Haridwar and immerse the medals in river Ganga at 6 pm. "These medals are our lives, our souls. There would be no reason to live after throwing them in the Ganga today. So, we will stage a hunger strike until death at India Gate after that," read the statement in Hindi.
The wrestlers added that the Prime Minister “who calls us our daughters”, but he did not even once show his concern for the grapplers. “Rather, he invited the 'oppressor' (Brij Bhushan) to the inauguration of the new Parliament building. He even posed for photographs in bright white clothes. We have been stained by this brightness,” the statement said.
Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sangeeta Phogat, Sakshi Malik and several others were detained by Delhi Police on Sunday when they attempted to move towards the new Parliament building for 'Mahila Mahapanchayat'.
Sakshi Malik's video statement
In a video statement on Monday, Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi they have not given up. She said the wrestlers were contemplating their next move even as they continued to get support from the sporting fraternity after police action against the top grapplers was unequivocally condemned by many political leaders and sports personalities.
Disturbing videos of police action against elite wrestlers emerged from Jantar Mantar, which will now remain out of bounds for them.
"Police has filed FIR against us when we have not caused any damage to the public property. They were very cruel with us, one woman (wrestler) was being handled by 20 officers, you can see the videos… We want to inform our supporters, who are waiting for us at Gurdwara (in Ambala) and other places, that we spent this day devising our next strategy. We have not stepped back, the protest will continue. We will let you know our next step, keep supporting us," she said.
‘Last night was sleepless.…’: Abhinav Bindra on scuffle
Meanwhile, India's first individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra denounced the police action against the top wrestlers, saying the treatment meted out to the grapplers left him "sleepless" and he was "haunted" by the horrifying images.
India football captain Chhetri, tweeted, "Why does it have to come down to our wrestlers being dragged around without any consideration? This isn't the way to treat anyone. I really hope this whole situation is assessed the way it should be."
Former all-rounder Pathan said a solution to the issue should be found immediately.
"I'm so sad to see the visuals of our Athletes…. Please solve this ASAP," Pathan tweeted.
(With inputs from agencies)