‘All parties welcome to join our protest’ says Wrestlers amid protest against WFI chief

Bajrang Punia

As top wrestlers resumed their sit-in protest at Jantar Mantar here in the national capital demanding the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia on Monday said that this time “all parties are welcome” to join them and they won’t back down till action is taken against the BJP MP.
This January, the wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Ravi Dahiya, and Sakshee Malikkh among others had called off their protest at Jantar Mantar after being assured that a committee would probe allegations of sexual harrassement and misconduct against the WFI chief. The star wrestlers said that they had filed a complaint at the Connaught Place police station on Friday (April 21) stating that seven female wrestlers, including one minor, were harassed and exploited by Brij Bhushan in his capacity as WFI chief.
“It’s been more than 48 hours since the complaint was made, but an FIR has not been filed yet,” Punia told.
The ace wrestler said that this time they will not turn down anyone, and whoever wants to support their protest could come and join them.
“…This time, all parties are welcome to join our protest whether it is BJP, Congress, AAP or any other party…..we’re not affiliated with any party…,” he said.
Delhi Commission For Women (DCW) has issued a notice to Delhi Police to register an FIR on the issue
Wrestler Vinesh Phogat also shared a photograph on her social media that indicated that the wrestlers had spent the night on the footpath. “Podium se footpath tak,” tweeted Phogat.
During their protest in January, Senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat who had arrived to express her solidarity and join the protest of wrestlers was asked to leave the stage as protestors said they did not want to politicise the issue.
After holding talks with Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, the wrestlers were persuaded to call off their protest in January. The sports ministry formed a five-member committee headed by Olympic medallist boxer MC Mary Kom to probe the complaints of the wrestlers.