‘This shows his mentality’: Sakshi Malik on WFI chief's ‘ ₹15 medal’ remark
India's top wrestlers have been protesting at Delhi's Jantar Mantar, demanding the arrest of WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Olympian wrestler Sakshi Malik on Friday hit out at Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over his purported remark in which he said the protesting grapplers should return their prize money instead of medals as "they are only worth ₹15".
"This shows his (Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh) mentality and how much he values the athletes," Malik was quoted by PTI as saying.
“He called our years of hard work as worth just ₹15. He has never seen our hard work. He never gave importance to wrestling and the athletes”, she added.
In an interview to a local channel, Singh was asked whether the wrestlers should return the money. The WFI chief is heard saying,"They should return the money. The medals will be sold for ₹15".
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Singh's purported remark sparked a fresh controversy. Wrestler Bajrang Punia tweeted saying the WFI chief called the medal worth ₹15, which is his and the protesting wrestlers' 15 years of hard work. He added that the medal was not given to them in charity, but earned after shedding blood and sweat and winning for the country.
India's top wrestlers have been demanding the arrest of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for allegedly sexually harassing seven women grapplers. The protest at Jantar Mantar has entered the 27th day with no solution in sight.
On Wednesday, the protesting wrestlers and their supporters had marched to the Hanuman temple and visited the Bangla Sahib gurdwara to offer prayers.
“It is our country's misfortune. Does every girl of the country need to do a sit-in to get justice. Can't we punish the guilty, our country cannot be so weak”, wrestler Vinesh Phogat said.