New Delhi/Haridwar: Agitating wrestlers, including Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia, handed their medals to Bhartiya Kisan Union chief and Balian Khap head Naresh Tikait, who had reached Haridwar’s Har ki Pauri to stop them from putting these into the Ganga as a symbolic act of protest against Wrestling Federation of India Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, whom they have accused of sexual harassment.
Tikait, along with the wrestlers, have now given five days to the government to sort out their demands, failing which wrestlers will go ahead with their decision to submerge their medals in the Ganga.
A large gathering assembled at Har ki Pauri, witnessing the wrestlers’ poignant demonstration after they reached there with their world championship and Olympic medals.
Emotions ran high, and Sakshi, Vinesh, and Vinesh’s cousin Sangeeta were visibly overcome, and their husbands offered consolation as their numerous supporters formed a protective circle.
Earlier, after reaching Har ki Pauri, the wrestlers stood in solemn silence for approximately 20 minutes. Subsequently, they took a seat by the riverbank, clutching their medals and their expressions reflecting profound distress.
The wrestlers had also announced that they will sit on a hunger strike at India Gate after the immersion programme, but Delhi Police sources said that they will not be allowed to protest at the national monument.
“No formal request has been received from the wrestlers thus far. To proceed with any demonstration, the wrestlers must adhere to the protocol by submitting a written communication to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) concerned. The decision regarding their request will be made based on the established guidelines and procedures,” a police source said.
“India Gate is not a protest site and police will not allow wrestlers to protest there. We will suggest alternate site for protest including Ramleela Ground and Burari,” the source added.