Protesting wrestlers detained amid march toward new parliament building, opposition reacts
28 May, 2023 | Srijita Sen
The champion wrestlers protesting at Jantar Mantar for over a month now have been detained by the Delhi police on Sunday, May 28.
The champion wrestlers protesting at Jantar Mantar for over a month now have been detained by the Delhi police on Sunday, May 28. Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia were detained as the wrestlers tried to match to the new Parliament building after it was inaugurated on Sunday as a part of their planned women’s Mahapanchayat.
The protest site was also cleared by the police. Visuals from the site went viral on social media which sees wrestlers and police officers pushing each other. The officers dragged the top wrestlers and lifted them into buses along with other wrestlers and their supporters. The police had reportedly warned the protesters against moving towards the parliament building, however, they went ahead.
Meanwhile, opposition leaders came out in support of the protesting wrestlers and condemned the attack on them.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote, “Strongly condemn the way Delhi Police manhandled Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and other wrestlers. It’s shameful our champions are treated in this manner. Democracy lies in tolerance but autocratic forces thrive on intolerance and quelling of dissent. I demand they be immediately released by police. I stand by our wrestlers.”
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, on the other hand, shared a video of the scuffle between the protesters and the police and wrote in Hindi, “Such behavior with our sportspersons who increase the honor of the country is very wrong and condemnable.”
The wrestlers have been protesting for over a month now against the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI)’s chief Brij Bhushan Singh after several female wrestlers, including a minor, complained against Singh for harassing them sexually.