On Monday, ace wrestler Bajrang Punia and former Kerala director general of police (DGP) NC Asthana engaged in a heated online debate after the latter threatened to shoot protesting grapplers if necessary. Punia responded to Asthana’s tweet by saying he was willing to take bullets in the chest.
The spat erupted after chaotic scenes at the Jantar Mantar dharna site, just 3 kilometers from the new Parliament building inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, as protesters and police officers shoved and pushed each other when the Phogat sisters, Sakshi Malik, and others attempted to breach the barricades.
After the wrestlers and other protesters were pushed into buses and taken to different locations, police began clearing the protest site by removing cots, mattresses, coolers, fans, and the tarpaulin ceiling, as well as other wrestlers’ belongings.
Later that night, while retweeting a news report, Asthana wrote in Hindi, “Will even shoot if necessary. But not because of you are saying. Right now, they have just been dragged and thrown away like a sack of garbage. Article 129 gives the police the right to shoot. Under proper circumstances, that wish will also be fulfilled too. But to know that it is necessary to be educated. See you again at the postmortem table!”
In another tweet, the former DGP stated that, “Some fools doubt the right of the police to shoot. If you can read English, then read the decision of the Supreme Court in Akhilesh Prasad’s case. Those illiterate who cannot read, it is good advice not to test this right. Wives will be widowed and children orphaned without any reason! stay fit.”
ज़रूरत हुई तो गोली भी मारेंगे। मगर, तुम्हारे कहने से नहीं। अभी तो सिर्फ कचरे के बोरे की तरह घसीट कर फेंका है। दफ़ा 129 में पुलिस को गोली मारने का अधिकार है। उचित परिस्थितियों में वो हसरत भी पूरी होगी। मगर वह जानने के लिये पढ़ालिखा होना आवश्यक है। फिर मिलेंगे पोस्टमाॅर्टम टेबल पर! https://t.co/tQ0ROlQBzP
— Dr. N. C. Asthana, IPS (Retd) (@NcAsthana) May 28, 2023
Punia, one of India’s top grapplers who are demanding the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who allegedly sexually harassed female wrestlers, appeared to be upset by the former IPS officer’s tweet.
“This IPS officer is talking about shooting us. Brother, I am standing in front here. Tell me where to come to get shot… I swear that I will not show my back, I will take your bullet on my chest. This is what has remained, now it is right to do with us,” Punia tweeted.
ये IPS ऑफिसर हमें गोली मारने की बात कर रहा है। भाई सामने खड़े हैं, बता कहाँ आना है गोली खाने… क़सम है पीठ नहीं दिखाएँगे, सीने पे खाएँगे तेरी गोली। यो ही रह गया है अब हमारे साथ करना तो यो भी सही। https://t.co/jgZofGj5QC
— Bajrang Punia 🇮🇳 (@BajrangPunia) May 29, 2023