Late night scuffle between protesting wrestlers-cops at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar
Wrestlers' protest: DCP New Delhi said that a group of protesters led by AAP leader Somnath Bharti reached the protest site without due permission.
A scuffle broke out between Delhi Police and protesting wrestlers at Delhi's Jantar Mantar on Wednesday, news agency ANI reported. The wrestlers alleged that they were manhandled by the police personnel.
Four people, including Congress leader Deepender Hooda and AAP leader Somnath Bharti, were detained following the scuffle, police said.
Pranav Tayal, DCP New Delhi said that a group of protesters led by AAP leader Somnath Bharti reached the protest site without due permission on Wednesday evening.
"They tried to break the barricades there, in which the protesting wrestlers also supported. Police intervened and they were stopped from creating any untoward incident," he informed.
Following the scuffle, wrestler Bajrang Punia told ANI, “We're in need of the support of the whole country, everyone must come to Delhi. Police using force against us, abusing women and doing nothing against Brijbhushan.”
He has also called for farmers and their leaders to assemble at the protest site on Thursday.
"Delhi Police ki gundagardi ab nahi chalegi (Delhi Police's high-handedness will not work anymore). We will call farmers to assemble here in numbers. We will not tolerate it anymore. Tractors or trolleys. whatever you get, just come here," he said.
Former wrestler Rajveer while speaking to news agency PTI said, “The mattresses got wet due to rain so we were bringing folding beds for sleeping, but the police did not allow that. Drunk policeman Dharemendra abused wrestler Vinesh Phogat and got involved in a scuffle with us.”
Shocked and appalled by the misbehaviour of the police, wrestler Vinesh Phogat said that they are not criminals and do not deserve such disrespect.
"If you want to kill us, kill us," Phogat said with tears in her eyes.
"Did we win medals for the country to see this day? We have not even eaten our food. Does every man have a right to abuse women? These policemen are holding guns, they can kill us," she added.
Barricades have been put up around the site and barring entry to anyone.
Earlier on Wednesday, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president PT Usha met the protesting wrestlers including Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat camped at Delhi's Jantar Mantar for over a week to flag sexual harassment allegations against Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Singh.
Her visit comes days after she declared the wrestlers' public display amounted to 'indiscipline' and that their actions were 'tarnishing image of India'. She also criticised them for not first coming to the IOA for their complaint.
The wrestlers have been staging a sit-in at Jantar Mantar since April 23. They have levelled allegations of sexual harassment against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is also a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Uttar Pradesh.
The Delhi Police filed two FIRs against the WFI president on Friday on the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by the wrestlers.
(With inputs from agencies)