‘Rumour’: Wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia on reports of withdrawing from protest
Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia rejected reports that they have withdrawn from the ongoing protest against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Top wrestlers Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia on Monday rejected media reports which claimed that they have withdrawn from the ongoing protest against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who allegedly sexually harassed several female grapplers.
“This news is completely wrong. In the fight for justice, none of us has backed down, nor will we. Along with Satyagraha, I am fulfilling my responsibility in Railways. Our fight continues till justice is served. Please don't spread any wrong news,” Malik tweeted sharing a screenshot of a news report from a news channel.
"The news of withdrawing the movement is just a rumour. These news are being spread to harm us. We have neither retreated nor have we withdrawn the movement. The news of women wrestlers raising FIR is also false. The fight will continue till justice is served," Punia tweeted.
Evicted from their Jantar Mantar protest site on May 28, Malik, Punia and Vinesh Phogat have resumed work in the Indian Railways. Records from the Northern Railways headquarters show Rio Olympics bronze medallist Malik joined her Baroda House office in New Delhi on May 31, a day after the high drama in Haridwar where the trio stopped short of immersing their international medals in the Ganga after a late intervention by Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Naresh Tikait.
In a letter dated May 31, Malik approved the conduct of Railways inter-divisional championships in cricket (men), badminton (men), weightlifting, basketball (men), volleyball (men), kabaddi (men), wrestling, boxing (men), athletics (men), and hockey (men).
HT has a copy of the letter sent to the divisional sports officers, the Divisional Railway Manager’s office and all five divisions of Northern Railways — Ambala, Delhi, Firozpur, Lucknow and Moradabad.
Malik signed the letter in her capacity as Officer on Special Duty (OSD). While calls and messages to Malik went unanswered, an official in the know of things confirmed the development.
“Yes, all three joined service a few days back. Since the khaps are now designing the future of the protest, the wrestlers have decided to return to work,” a source told HT.
Wrestlers meet Amit Shah to discuss protest
On Saturday night, the wrestlers met Union home minister Amit Shah, reports claimed. The meeting at Shah's residence went on till midnight where the protesters pressed for an early chargesheet against Brij Bhushan.