Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra criticised the government over top wrestlers’ protests here on Wednesday, questioning whether the government wants to shield the perpetrators.
The Congress general secretary also said that the appeals of sportspeople who promote the country’s honour are being ignored, and that “when the arrogance of a party and its leaders” is sky high, such voices are squashed.
Her comments come as India’s best wrestlers intensified their protest against WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on Tuesday, declaring that they will not leave the protest site until the WFI president, who is facing sexual harassment charges, is jailed.
The Supreme Court issued notifications to the Delhi government and others on Tuesday in response to a petition filed by seven female wrestlers alleging non-registration of a FIR about sexual harassment charges against the WFI president, stating that these are “serious allegations” that require its consideration.
Gandhi expressed his support for the protesting wrestlers, saying that athletes are the pride of the country because when they win gold despite all the challenges and after working tirelessly, “their victory is our victory” and the entire country celebrates.
“Women’s victories are more significant than men’s.” She is crying as they sit on the road near to Parliament. “No one is paying attention to their long-standing complaint about exploitation,” Gandhi stated in a Hindi tweet.
“These girls with strong arms and pure hearts believed the government when it said there would be an investigation.” However, the probe did not take place. The issue of punishment was never raised. “Does the government want to save the perpetrators?” asked the Congress leader.
Gandhi enquired as to who was putting pressure on the Delhi Police.
She also questioned why, after hearing the suffering of a girl during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Opposition leaders are being questioned by the same police, but the appeals of sportspeople who increase the country’s honour are ignored.
Her comments were in response to a Delhi Police team questioning Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at his home last month about his remark during the Bharat Jodo Yatra that “women are still being sexually assaulted.” The police squad had requested information about the “victims” in order to investigate their complaints.
“When a party’s and its leaders’ arrogance reaches the sky, such voices are crushed.” Let us rally behind our sisters. It is an issue of national honour,” Gandhi stated.
Wrestlers such as Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia have also claimed that the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chairman is now using coercion and intimidation to break the “victims” by giving money.Former Haryana Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Congress leader Udit Raj, and CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, who were barred from joining the protest in January, were welcomed by the wrestlers on Tuesday, a day after they sought support from all quarters.