Tears, Anger As Protesting Wrestlers Prepare To “Immerse” Medals In Ganga

Tears, Anger As Protesting Wrestlers Prepare To “Immerse” Medals In Ganga

New Delhi:
Ace wrestlers of the country are in Haridwar to consign their Olympic and Commonwealth Games medals in Ganga after a month-long protest. The decision comes days after the massive Delhi Police crackdown on the champions, which has shocked the country.

Here are the top 10 Points in this big story:

  1. The wrestlers, who allege that their protest against wrestling federation chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been largely ignored, announced their decision to consign the medals to Ganga in an emotive message.

  2. “It seems that these medals decorated around our necks have no meaning any more,” read a statement in Hindi, tweeted out by top athletes. “The police and the system are treating us as criminals while the harasser openly attacks us in public meetings,” read the statement tweeted by wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat.

  3. In the message, the wrestlers said they wondered who they’d return the medals to. “The President, who is a woman herself, sat barely two kilometres away and watched. She didn’t say anything,” it read, refering to Sunday’s crackdown on the protesters that took place as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new parliament.

  4. “These medals are our lives, our souls. There would be no reason to live after immersing them in the Ganga today. So, we will start a hunger strike until death at India Gate after that,” added the statement.

  5. The UP police have said they will not deter the wrestlers from their plan to consign the medals into the Ganga.

  6. The Delhi Police, who had shut the Jantar Mantar protest site to the wrestlers after Sunday’s clash, said they will not be allowed to hold a protest at India Gate.

  7. The Delhi Police had accused the protesting wrestlers of rioting on Sunday, saying they broke the law in a frenzy despite repeated requests.

  8. On Sunday, the protesters were detained by the Delhi Police as they attempted a protest march to the new parliament. Visuals of the champions Vinesh Phogat and her cousin Sangeeta Phogat being manhandled and pinned onto the ground by the police had evoked shock and outrage across the country.

  9. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a BJP MP, accused of sexually harassing some of the top wrestlers was present at the inauguration of the new parliament as the police carried out its crackdown on the wrestlers barely 5 km away. He has denied any wrongdoing, but added that he is ready to step down if Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the BJP asks him to.

  10. Earlier this month, the wrestlers alleged that a group of drunk Delhi Police personnel targeted them when they wanted to bring in mattresses to sleep on a rainy day. The policemen beat them up and abused the women wrestlers, they had said – allegations the police had denied.

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