Wrestlers protest: The ongoing protest by wrestlers is set to get new mobilisation. Khap representatives from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab Rajasthan and Delhi will meet in Muzaffarnagar on Thursday to discuss the protests by India’s top wrestlers against sexual harassment.
Giving this information, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Naresh Tikait said a mahapanchayat will be held in Muzaffarnagar’s Soram village on Thursday to discuss the protest. The wrestlers are protesting against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over charges of intimidation and sexual harassment.
Tikait convinces grapplers to hold off
Tikait’s comments came a day after he convinced the medal winning wrestlers to defer immersing their medals in the Ganga amid high drama in Haridwar.,
Bajrang Punia is Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist while Sakshi Malikkh is Rio Games bronze medallist. Vinesh Phogat jas won double World Championship bronze. Together, they have 45 senior international medals between them.
“A mahapanchayat’ will be held in Soram village on Thursday to discuss the ongoing protest by wrestlers. Representatives of different khaps from UP, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi will participate in it,” Tikait said.
At least 50 khaps are likely to participate in the event, said a source.
‘An emotional decision’
“The wrestlers took an emotional decision on Tuesday to immerse their medals and it was our duty to stop them. The khaps will meet on Thursday to discuss the future of protest. The struggle will still be led by the wrestlers and all khaps and farmer unions will support them to the hilt,” Chaudhary Surender Solanki, president of Palam 360 khap in Delhi, said.
Solanki will attend the congregation on Thursday while wrestlers will skip it. “The wrestlers won’t be part of this,” he added.
General secretary of Sarv Khap, Subhash Baliyan, said that the meeting would discuss the police action against protesting wrestlers.
Wrestlers break down in Haridwar
Tuesday saw unprecedented scenes on the banks of the Ganga in Haridwar. Wrestlers broke down on live television. Malik and Phogat sat clasping their box full of medals with their spouses wrestlers Satyavrat Kadian and Somveer Rathee beside them
Punia who has one Olympic medal, four World Championship medals, and two Asian Games medals, also broke down. Their supporters formed a human chain to shield them from the huge crowd that had assembled at the ghat on the occasion of Ganga Dussehra.
The wrestlers are demanding Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Brij Bhushan Singh’s arrest over allegations of sexual harassment of athletes, including at least one minor.
Singh has been removed from WFI, has denied the charges. Two FIRs have been filed against him.
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