Protesting wrestlers on being detained amid march: 'World is watching us'

May 28, 2023 03:24 PM IST

The Delhi police on Sunday detained protesting wrestlers for “violation of law and order” while trying to carry out a planned women's 'Mahapanchayat'.

Top wrestlers Sakhi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia on Sunday hit out at the Delhi police for detaining them while attempting to carry out a planned march towards the new Parliament building, saying that the “world is watching” them. Sakshi Malik shared a video of the police detaining her fellow wrestlers and said that “This is how our champions are being treated”.

Security personnel detain wrestlers during their protest march towards new Parliament building, in New Delhi, Sunday, May 28, 2023(PTI)
Security personnel detain wrestlers during their protest march towards new Parliament building, in New Delhi, Sunday, May 28, 2023(PTI)

Also read: Wrestlers reject government's compromise formula; ‘mahila mahapanchayat’ today

Chaotic scenes were witnessed in the video as wrestlers and police officers shoved and pushed each other, with the police dragging the protesting wrestlers forcefully and pushing them into police vans.

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Bajrang Punia also shared pictures of the protesting wrestlers being detained and asked “What crime have we committed?” “Does any government get the champions of their country treated like this?” he added.

Earlier in the day, Vinesh Phogat shared a video message on Twitter saying, “Democracy is being murdered. On one hand, the PM has inaugurated the new building of democracy, while on the other hand, our people are being detained.”

“The police have detained everyone participating in the march today. It's like they have put us in jail. The country's daughters are sitting on the road for justice. But instead of providing us justice, they are pretending as if we are at fault. The country will remember this,” Phogat said in her video.

Immediately after the wrestlers were detained and taken to different unknown locations, the police began clearing the protest site at Delhi' Jantar Mantar by removing the cots, mattresses, coolers, fans, and the tarpaulin ceiling along with other belongings of the wrestlers.

The police said that no protester will be allowed to move toward the new Parliament building as they have not been granted permission. According to Dependra Pathak, Special CP, Law, and Order, the wrestlers have been detained for “violating law and order”.

Also read: In note from Tihar, Manish Sisodia ‘baffled’ over BJP's silence on wrestlers' protest

“We will take legal action after inquiry in due course of time. We need to assess the entire situation. As you have seen the barricades have been broken and they moved ahead despite request and warning. So that is why we have removed them from here.” he said, as quoted by news agency PTI.

He added, “The bottom line is peace and tranquility in all situations will be maintained. We will ensure professional steps to see to it that nothing goes wrong.”

The agitating wrestlers led by Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, and Sakshi Malik resumed the protests against former Wresting Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on April 23, demanding his arrest for alleged sexual harassment of several women grapplers, including a minor.

(With inputs from PTI)

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