West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took to the streets for the second day in a row on Thursday in support of the protesting wrestlers, leading a candlelight march from the Gostha Pal statue to the Mahatma Gandhi statue at the Mayo Road-Dufferin Road crossing in Kolkata.
The CM described the wrestlers’ struggle as a “fight for life, justice, and independence,” and stated that she will “fight until protesting wrestlers get justice.” The TMC supremo can be seen leading a group of protesters with a candle in her hand in a video posted by news agency ANI.
#WATCH | West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee participates in a candlelight march to the Gandhi statue in Kolkata in support of protesting wrestlers. pic.twitter.com/mkdcEC8RRQ
— ANI (@ANI) June 1, 2023
Banerjee took part in a protest march on Wednesday that began at the Hazra Road crossing in Kolkata’s south and ended at Rabindra Sadan. Other protesters are seen carrying placards with the words ‘We want justice’ and ‘We are with you wrestlers’ written on them.
Addressing the rally, Banerjee demanded the immediate arrest of former Wrestling Federation of India president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been accused of sexually harassing several female wrestlers, and stated, “We promise to continue our protest against the BJP government at the Centre until the culprit is arrested.”
“Even after the Supreme Court has given a judgment, the BJP government at the Centre is unable to arrest the accused. On the contrary, I have asked the police that they can arrest TMC leaders, if genuine complaints are received against them,” she added.
Following a chaotic day in the national capital on 28 May, during which several top wrestlers, including Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia, were detained and their protest site at Jantar Mantar was removed, the top agitating wrestlers traveled to Haridwar to immerse their medals in the Ganga. They were stopped, however, by farm leader Naresh Tikait. The wrestlers then gave the authorities a five-day deadline to act against the WFI chief.