'Hurts me to see our athletes on streets': Neeraj Chopra, Kapil Dev demand ‘justice’ for protesting wrestlers

Apr 28, 2023 05:23 PM IST

India's Olympic gold-medallist Neeraj Chopra, as well as World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev reacted to wrestlers' protest at Jantar Mantar.

Last week, India's top wrestlers including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik resumed their agitation against the wrestling federation's chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, three months after they ended their sit-in protest following the formation of an oversight committee to probe into the sexual harassment allegations against Singh. The protesting wrestlers returned to Jantar Mantar on Sunday, and also sought PM Narendra Modi's time to discuss the serious allegations against the WFI chief, who is also a member of parliament from BJP.

Neeraj Chopra; Indian wrestlers during protest; Kapil Dev(File/PTI)
Neeraj Chopra; Indian wrestlers during protest; Kapil Dev(File/PTI)

As wrestlers continue to demand for action against Singh, India's only Olympic track-and-field gold medallist Neeraj Chopra came in their support. Taking to his official Twitter account, Chopra stated that it “hurts” him to see his fellow athletes taking the streets to demand “justice,” and urged for swift action to be taken.

“It hurts me to see our athletes on the streets demanding justice. They have worked hard to represent our great nation and make us proud. As a nation, we are responsible for safeguarding the integrity and dignity of every individual, athlete or not,” Chopra wrote.

“What's happening should never happen. This is a sensitive issue, and must be dealt with in an impartial and transparent manner. Pertaining authorities must take quick action in order to ensure that justice is served.”

India's World Cup-winning former captain Kapil Dev also posted a story on his official Instagram profile to share his support for the wrestlers. He wrote, “will they ever get justice?” posting a picture of a press conference featuring Bajrang and Vinesh, among others.

Kapil Dev's Instagram story(Instagram)
Kapil Dev's Instagram story(Instagram)

Earlier, fellow wrestler Ravi Dahiya also took to his Twitter account to stand by his colleagues. “An armyman and a sportsperson is the pride of every nation, and to respect them is the nation's duty,” Ravi wrote.

Other Indian sportspersons have also shown their support for the wrestlers. Here are the tweets…

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is yet to complete its probe into the allegations against the WFI chief, while the government-formed oversight panel's findings have not been made public as yet.

Frustrated with the three-month long wait, the peeved wrestlers returned to Jantar Mantar to resume their agitation on April 23, and also approached the Supreme Court, demanding arrest of the WFI boss.


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