Khap panchayats and farmer leaders have already set the June 9 deadline for the Centre to arrest the WFI chief.
NEW DELHI: Country’s top wrestlers protesting against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been accused of sexually harassing some female athletes, have met Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding action against the WFI president. According to reports, the meeting between the agitating wrestlers and the Home Minister took place on Saturday night. The meeting at Amit Shah’s residence went on till midnight during which the grapplers pressed for an early chargesheet against Brij Bhushan.
Amit Shah, after listening to the wrestlers, assured them of an early resolution of their issues. The grapplers had earlier met Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur who assured them of a fair probe into their allegations. The late-night meeting with Amit Shah comes days after the wrestlers went to Haridwar to immerse their medals in the Ganga, but were stopped by farmers leader Rakesh Tikait who has given an ultimatum to the government to arrest Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh before June 9.
Farmers’ Ultimatum To Centre Over Wrestlers’ Protest
It may be noted that Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait on Friday warned the Centre that if WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, facing sexual harassment charges by the country’s top wrestlers, is not arrested by June 9, then farmer leaders will hold panchayats across the nation in support of the grapplers.
Tikait, who attended a Khap panchayat held to express solidarity with wrestlers here, also said that if the demands are not met within the given time, they will go to the Jantar Mantar, Delhi. “We have taken a decision that Govt must address the grievances of wrestlers and he (Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh) should be arrested otherwise we will go with wrestlers to Jantar Mantar, Delhi on June 9 and will hold panchayats across the nation,” Tikait said.
The Khap leaders also said that if they will not be allowed to sit at Jantar Mantar on June 9, then there will be an announcement of Andolan. On Thursday, a Khap ‘mahapanchayat’ to discuss the ongoing protest by wrestlers against WFI chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh was held in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar. Khap leaders from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi attended the Mahapanchayat on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, and Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat went to Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar along with their supporters to immerse their medals in the Ganga River. But after farm leaders persuaded them not to take the drastic step, the wrestlers decided not to throw their medals in the river. The farm leaders have sought five days’ time to address their grievances.
Two FIRs Against WFI Chief
The Delhi Police has filed two FIRs against WFI chief Singh. While the first FIR relates to allegations by a minor wrestler and has been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the second is related to outraging modesty. However, Singh on Thursday alleged that the protesting wrestlers are changing their “demands and language” continuously and added that he still stands by his statement that he will hang himself if even one of the allegations against him is proven to be true.
“…First they (protesting wrestlers) had some other demand and later they demanded something else. They are changing their demands and language continuously. I had said that if even one case against me gets proven, I will hang myself…I stand by my statement..,” said Brij Bhushan to media in Gonda.