NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal extends his support to the wrestlers who have been protesting at Jantar Mantar against the sports federation chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over alleged sexual harassment and has requested the central government not to be ‘merciless.’ The wrestlers have been sitting on a dharna at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, demanding the inclusion of a particular coach in their training camp. However, they allege that they have been receiving harassment from the authorities.
Kejriwal, who visited the site on Saturday, said that the wrestlers are not fighting for themselves but for the entire sports world. He also criticized the central government for being cruel and stopping the basic necessities of the protesters, including water, mattresses, and electricity.
The Delhi Chief Minister assured that he and his government would do everything possible to support the wrestlers. Kejriwal also appealed to the people to support the wrestlers and asked them to take leave and come to Jantar Mantar to show solidarity with the protesters.
पूरी दुनिया में देश का नाम रोशन करने वाली ये सभी महिला खिलाड़ी हमारी बेटियाँ हैं, इन्हें इंसाफ़ मिलना ही चाहिए। आरोपी चाहे जितना भी शक्तिशाली हो, उसे सख़्त से सख़्त सज़ा मिलनी चाहिए। https://t.co/GeTVVl38Mz— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 29, 2023
The Delhi Police yesterday filed two first information reports (FIRs) against the Wrestling Federation of India chief following a Supreme Court order and after the wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat, among others, approached the court alleging police inaction for a long time.
The wrestlers have been protesting for over a week now, and their struggle has gained support from other athletes and politicians. Vinesh Phogat, an Indian wrestler, who won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2018, said that the respect of players of the country is crucial, and they are fighting for that respect. She added that the authorities are trying to break them in every way.
The wrestlers have not called off their week-long protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar; they want Singh, who is also a BJP MP, to be arrested
“Every citizen who loves this country stands with the wrestlers,” Mr Kejriwal said, adding the central government should help the wrestlers in their fight against the BJP MP.
Apart from Kejriwal, they include the Congress’s Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, khap panchayat leaders, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, among others.
The Delhi Chief Minister’s support has given a new hope to the protesters, and it remains to be seen how the central government will respond to their demands.