The wrestlers who had threatened to resume their street agitation against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh have now decided to pursue their fight in court rather than on the roads. Prominent Indian wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia took to Twitter to announce that they will seek justice through legal means.
They acknowledged that the government has taken action by filing a chargesheet against Singh, and they will await the fulfillment of promises regarding the upcoming WFI elections.
Shift to Legal Battle:
In a synchronized statement on Twitter, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia expressed their determination to continue their fight for justice in court. They emphasized that their focus will now be on pursuing legal avenues rather than engaging in street protests. The wrestlers acknowledged that the government has fulfilled its promise by initiating the election process within WFI, and they will monitor progress regarding the July 11 elections.
Temporary Break from Social Media:
Shortly after issuing their statement, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik announced that they would take a temporary break from social media for a few days. This decision comes in the wake of their live address on social media, where they criticized former wrestler and current BJP leader Yogeshwar Dutt for questioning the exemption granted to them from Asian Games trials by the IOA ad-hoc panel.
Determination to Continue the Fight:
During their address, Vinesh, Sakshi, and Bajrang emphasized their unwavering commitment to continue their fight against Brij Bhushan Singh. They declared that their struggle for justice will persist, both on and off the mat. Vinesh reaffirmed that their protest will continue until Singh is held accountable for his actions. They eagerly await a copy of the chargesheet against him, which will be scrutinized to assess its strength in delivering justice.
Accusations against Yogeshwar Dutt:
Vinesh Phogat accused Yogeshwar Dutt of targeting them due to his own self-interests. She alleged that Dutt had intimidated wrestlers, dissuading them from participating in the second phase of the protest. Vinesh claimed that Dutt exerted pressure by threatening their job security, resulting in the absence of several supporters during the April 23 protest. She also suggested that Dutt’s support for Singh might be influenced by a potential offer of the WFI presidency.
Background and Suspension of Protest:
The wrestlers had been protesting at Jantar Mantar since January 18, demanding an investigation into their allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. On May 28, they were removed from Jantar Mantar by the Delhi Police for violating law and order. However, they had temporarily suspended their protest until June 15 after receiving assurances from Sports Minister Anurag Thakur. The minister promised to file a chargesheet against Singh and prohibit any of his family members from contesting the WFI elections.
Support and Duration of Protest:
Throughout their protest, the wrestlers received extensive support from farmer leaders, khap panchayats, and various organizations. Their sit-in at Jantar Mantar lasted for 38 days before their detainment by the Delhi Police. Despite the temporary suspension of their street agitation, the wrestlers maintain that their fight for justice remains ongoing.
With the decision to shift their focus to the legal battle against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the protesting wrestlers have chosen a different path to seek justice. Their determination to continue the fight and their call for accountability demonstrate their commitment to addressing the allegations they have raised. As the legal proceedings unfold, the wrestlers eagerly await the
outcome while remaining resolute in their pursuit of justice within the Wrestling Federation of India.