Wrestler Bajrang Punia during the wrestlers’ protest at Jantar Mantar (Image: PTI)
Bajrang Punia and other protesting wrestlers addressing a press conference said that they are willing to sacrifice their medals to ensure action is taken against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh
The protesting wrestlers on Thursday said they were willing to “sacrifice” their careers in the sport, in order to ensure justice for the women grapplers.
They also welcomed the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) panel’s decision to conduct the selection trials for U-17 and U-23 Asian Championships, scheduled to be held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan from June 10 to 18.
Addressing the media after paying a visit to Raj Ghat in the evening along with Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, Sangeeta Phogat and their supporters, Bajrang Punia said they won’t budge till the former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is arrested for alleged sexual harassment of women grapplers including a minor.
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“Our fight for justice will continue. We are getting great support from the entire country. The government’s motto is Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Save girl Educate girl), so it should keep in mind these are the country’s daughters,” Bajrang said.
Asked if the protest, which has been going on for the past 26 days at Jantar Mantar, is hampering their preparation for this year’s Asian Games, Bajrang said getting justice for the victims is their priority now.
“If we get justice for the daughters it is our biggest medal. We are willing to sacrifice. The fight is for good people in WFI and not people like Brij Bhushan or his followers who will keep on molesting women wrestlers,” he said.
The selection trials for the U-17 and U-23 Indian teams for the Asian Championships are being organised in NIS Patiala and Sports Authority of India Regional Centre in Sonepat, and Bajrang welcomed the move.
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“We welcome the move to start the game again through trials. We had said before the game should be taken care of by the committee and not Brij Bhushan. We never opposed the committee.
“We are not calling other wrestlers here we don’t want their practice to be affected,” he said.
Bajrang said as discussed before they will hold a “big panchayat” (village council) on May 21 if a decision on Brij Bhushan’s arrest is not made by then.
He further said their future course of action will be decided by the elders in the panchayat.
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“If nothing happens by tomorrow whatever our elders will decide in the khap panchayat we will follow. On 21st the next move of our protest will be made.”
The protesting wrestlers have taken their agitation out of Jantar Mantar by visiting significant places like the Hanuman Mandir near Connaught Place, Bangla Sahib Gurudwara and Raj Ghat in the last three days, seeking to garner mass support for their movement.
“We plan to go to significant places of the city everyday to make people aware about our plight.”
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)
Amrit SantlaniAmrit Santlani, Senior Sub Editor at Cricketnext has 4 years of experience covering multiple sports events such as the IPL, T20 World Cup, FIFA World …Read More