Kejriwal visits Jantar Mantar to express solidarity with protesting wrestlers

  • | Saturday | 29th April, 2023

Kejriwal visits Jantar Mantar to express solidarity with protesting wrestlers The Delhi chief minister said all those who love the country should support the protesting wrestlers.   STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 29 APRIL A day after the Delhi Police registered FIRs against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Singh on sexual harassment case, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday met the wrestlers protesting at the Jantar Mantar demanding the arrest of the WFI chief. Speaking to the media after the meeting, he said all those who love the country should support the protesting wrestlers. The wrestlers’ protest entered its seventh day on Saturday. The Delhi chief minister said, “Regardless of political affiliation, be it the BJP, Congress or AAP, all those who love the country should support the protesting wrestlers. While we will provide them with all the necessary support, I appeal to the Central government to refrain from cutting off basic facilities such as water and electricity.” “It took seven days for Delhi Police to register an FIR. Had the girls not come forward, bad things would have continued,” he added. Some of India’s top wrestlers, including Olympians Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, along with Asian and Commonwealth Games medallist Vinesh Phogat are protesting at the Jantar Mantar, demanding action against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on charges of sexual harassment. The illustrious wrestlers have been protesting since Sunday in support of their demand for the removal of Brij Bhushan as WFI chief and a criminal action against him over alleged sexual exploitation and harassment of the female wrestlers by him. Two separate FIRs were registered against the WFI chief on Friday in response to a notice to the Delhi Police issued by the Supreme Court following the plea filed by the wrestlers. However, the wrestlers have decided to continue their protest till the arrest of Singh. On Friday, the police registered two FIRs, one against WFI coaches, and another against Brij Bhushan, in connection with the sexual harassment allegations made by the women wrestlers. Earlier on Saturday, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra met with the protesting wrestlers at Jantar Mantar and sought to know the contents of the FIRs. However, she said she does not have “any expectations from the prime minister”. Speaking to the media after meeting the wrestlers, Priyanka assured them the nation stands with them and criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not talking to them. “I don’t have any expectations from the PM, because if he is worried about these wrestlers, then why has he not talked to them or met them as yet? The nation is standing with them and I am very proud that these wrestlers have raised their voices against such an issue,” she said. Questioning the FIRs lodged, the Congress leader asked why they are not being shown. “No one is aware of what is there in the FIRs lodged. Why are they not showing them? When these wrestlers win medals we all tweet and feel proud but today they are sitting on the road and not getting justice. All these women wrestlers struggle a lot to come to this stage. And I am not able to understand why the government is saving him (Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh)?” Priyanka said. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued notice to Delhi Police on the wrestlers’ plea seeking an urgent hearing on a petition seeking registration of FIR against WFI president Brij Bhushan. The court noted that there are serious allegations in the petition by wrestlers who have represented India. According to the police, the first FIR pertains to allegations levelled by a minor victim, registered under POCSO Act along with relevant IPC sections concerning outraging of modesty. The second FIR is registered for carrying out comprehensive investigations into the complaints tendered by other, adult complainants under relevant sections pertaining to outraging of modesty. The top Indian wrestlers have been protesting since last Sunday, demanding the removal of Brij Bhushan as WFI chief after accusing him of sexual harassment and criminal intimidation. The are also seeking criminal action against the WFI chief.

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