Mahavir Phogat Joins Wrestlers Protest, Warns To Return Medals If Justice Is Not Served

Back in January this year, acclaimed Indian wrestlers including Olympic medalists Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik alleged that several female wrestlers have been sexually harassed by coaches at national camps. The wrestlers accused Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of mishandling and sexually harassing them.

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Since then, wrestlers Sakshi, Vinesh, and Bajrang Punia along with others have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi against the federation and demanding the arrest of Singh.

However, the protests were called off soon after the government promised to investigate the allegations.

Then on April 23, the wrestlers resumed protests claiming that nothing has been done to resolve their issues.

Recently, things took an ugly turn when the Delhi police got into a scuffle with the protesting wrestlers and their supporters at Jantar Mantar during the late hours of Wednesday. According to a report by The Indian Express, the wrestlers were bringing in cots to the protest site to sleep at night. That’s when the cops intervened and allegedly used manpower to stop them from doing so without permission.

The wrestlers alleged that they were manhandled, abused, and misbehaved by drunk policemen and in that tussle, two wrestlers, Rahul Yadav and Dushyant Phogat, were injured.

Sharing their side of the story the cops said that the wrestlers were at fault and alleged that the protesters got aggressive and manhandled the police, hurting five police personnel including two women officers. They also denied the allegations that an officer was drunk.

Senior police officers said that section 144 was imposed after the scuffle, and everyone was allowed to meet the protesters on Thursday. After the incident, the wrestlers were furious about the way they were treated by the Delhi police. They also hinted at returning their awards, including the Padma Shri, to the government.

Now, Dronacharya awardee wrestler and father of the Phogat sisters, Mahavir Phogat has joined the protesters in Jantar Mantar and has threatened to return all his medals and awards if justice is not delivered, reported NDTV.

He said, “I will return my medals if justice is not delivered in the case. The kind of allegations he faces, action should be taken against him and he should be arrested,” the senior Olympics coach and politician said adding that there has been no talk with the government so far.

Many young wrestlers have now joined the protesting wrestlers.

It’s sad to see so bright and hardworking wrestlers of the country taking to the streets to protest against the wrestling federation. The allegations they have levied against the WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh are serious and there is a need to investigate the matter thoroughly so justice can see the light of the day. What do you have to say on this matter?

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