National Affairs

Protesting Wrestlers Trying To Move Towards New Parliament, Detained By Police

There was a clash between the police and the wrestlers protesting in front of the new Parliament building on Sunday.

Wrestlers were going towards the new parliament by crossing the barricades. The police stopped them and took Bajrang Punia, Vinesh-Sangita Phogat, Sakshi Malik and others into custody. 

After this, the police removed the tents, chairs and other items from the picket site at Jantar Mantar and completely vacated it at 4 pm. Vinesh and Sangeeta Phogat were taken to Kalkaji police station in Delhi.

The wrestlers, who have been protesting at Jantar Mantar for 34 days, were going to join the Mahila Mahapanchayat in front of the new Parliament on Sunday. 

But, Delhi Police did not give permission for this mahapanchayat. Despite this, the wrestlers organized a mahapanchayat and started marching towards the Parliament. On this he had a confrontation with the police.

Wrestler Bajrang Poonia said – is this a democracy, we are doing a peaceful protest and we are being treated like this. shoot us. 

Meanwhile, Sakshi Malik’s husband Satyavrat Malik and other wrestlers raised slogans inside the bus after being taken into custody by the police.

While taking Vinesh and Sangeeta Phogat into custody, the women policemen had a good scuffle with the wrestlers. When the police was taking Vinesh and Sangeeta Phogat in the bus, Vinesh said ‘Happy new country’.

On the other hand, on the arrest of wrestlers, Sakshi Malik said that after taking wrestlers and elderly mothers into custody, the police is now uprooting their front at Jantar Mantar. Our luggage is being picked up. What hooliganism is this?

Swati Maliwal, chairperson of the Delhi Women’s Commission, wrote a letter to the Delhi Police Commissioner asking him to arrest WFI chief Brij Bhushan, release the wrestlers and take action against the officers who detained them.

Delhi Police has also detained 3 children who went to the protest. His age is said to be less than 12 years.

In view of the possibility of reaching a large number of farmers from many states including Haryana, UP and Punjab in the Mahapanchayat, the Delhi Police barricaded the Singhu and Tikri border on Sunday morning itself.

All entry and exit gates of Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhawan metro stations in Delhi were also closed. A temporary jail was made in a school on the Singhu border near Sonipat in Haryana.

Haryana Police took Khap representatives and farmer leaders into custody in Hisar, Sonipat, Panipat, Rohtak, Jind and Ambala on Sunday morning itself.

Police has been deployed at all toll plazas in Haryana. Those going to Delhi for the Mahapanchayat were taken into custody.

Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik have been protesting at Jantar Mantar for the arrest of Brij Bhushan since April 23. 

Apart from Haryana, people and farmers from Khaps of UP, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Delhi were going to participate in Mahila Mahapanchayat.

On January 18, 2023, Bajrang Punia started a sit-in along with Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar. 

Alleged that WFI President Brij Bhushan Singh sexually assaulted several women wrestlers. 

Vinesh alleged that Brij Bhushan used to stay on the same floor of the hotel where the women wrestlers used to stay.

After the controversy escalated on January 21, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur met the wrestlers and ended the strike. Anurag Thakur assured that the report of the committee formed to investigate the matter would come within four weeks, till then Brij Bhushan’s rights are taken away. 

Later the period of investigation was extended by two weeks. However, the report of the committee has not been made public till date.

On April 23, the wrestlers once again sat on a dharna at Jantar Mantar. They said that justice has not been served and the dharna will continue until Brij Bhushan is arrested.

On 28 April, an appeal was made to the Supreme Court on behalf of the wrestlers. Following the directions of the Supreme Court, the Delhi Police registered two FIRs. One of these FIRs is of sexual harassment of a minor wrestler in which the POCSO Act has been invoked. The second FIR pertains to sexual harassment of adult female wrestlers.

On the night of May 3, there was a clash between wrestlers and policemen at Jantar Mantar. 

Wrestler Rakesh Yadav and Vinesh Phogat’s brother Dushyant sustained injuries in the clash. On the other hand, the Delhi Police says that force was not used on the wrestler and 5 policemen were injured in the scuffle by the wrestlers.

On May 7, a mahapanchayat of Khaps of Haryana, UP, Rajasthan and Punjab took place at Jantar Mantar. In this, a 15-day ultimatum was given to the Central Government for the arrest of Brij Bhushan. 

When there was no action, a mahapanchayat was held again on 21 May. In this, it was decided to hold candle march at India Gate and Mahila Mahapanchayat on May 28 at the new Parliament House. On the evening of May 21, Brij Bhushan talked about getting narco tests done for himself and the wrestlers.

On May 22, the wrestlers accepted the challenge of getting Brij Bhushan’s narco test done by holding a press conference at Jantar Mantar. Also said that the test process should be under the supervision of the Supreme Court and the entire telecast should be live.

On May 25, Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia reached the mahapanchayat held in Jind and invited people to join the Mahila mahapanchayat to be held on May 28 in front of the new Parliament building.

On May 26, the wrestlers held a press conference and told that on May 28, they would march on foot from the picket site to the new Parliament House. 

“Wherever the Delhi Police stops them, they will start a mahapanchayat there itself” they warned.

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