New Delhi, May 30, 2023 (PPI-OT): India’s top wrestlers have said that they will throw their medals in the Ganga River at Haridwar city as a way of protesting the high-handedness of the police in New Delhi. Delhi Police had filed FIRs against the wrestlers following a confrontation with them. Three wrestlers - Rio 2016 bronze medallist Sakshi Malik, Tokyo 2020 medallist Bajrang Punia and world championship medallist Vinesh Phogat - made this announcement following the police action.
The wrestlers in a statement also said they will sit on a hunger strike till death at New Delhi’s India Gate. They said these medals are our life and soul and after we put it in River Ganga, there would be no meaning for us to live for. So we will go to India Gate and sit on a hunger strike until death, they added.
The wrestlers, who had been protesting at the Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, tried to march to the new Parliament building on Sunday to hold a women’s ‘Mahapanchayat’ outside the Parliament as it was being inaugurated. But Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sangeeta Phogat, Sakshi Malik and several others were detained by the Delhi Police on the way. The police later, registered FIRs against them and cleared out their protest site at Jantar Mantar. When the wrestlers were being detained, they resisted, leading to dramatic images where the wrestlers were being grabbed and lifted by multiple policewomen and put into buses.
A statement posted on social media by the three wrestlers read, “All of you saw whatever happened on May 28. The way we were treated and detained by the police. The police not only cleared out our protest area at Jantar Mantar, but also registered FIRs against us, despite the fact that we were protesting peacefully.” “Have female athletes committed some crime by asking for justice for the sexual harassment committed against them? We have been treated like criminals,” the statement added.
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