Wrestler Anuj Choudhary, who was omitted from the list of Arjuna Awardees, launched an indefinite hunger strike at the Rajghat on Friday in protest against the Awards committee's decision.
Anuj, winner of the silver medal in the Manchester Commonwealth Games, believes that he is the most deserving candidate for the award this year.
"I am not doing anything wrong but asking for my right. If I do not express my resentment now I will keep being victimised," Anuj said.
"I was the first choice recommended by the Wrestling Federation of India, but do not know where things went wrong. I do not know politics and can ask for my right only through such protest," said the grappler, who had recently represented the country at the Athens Olympics.
"I have represented the country 30 times in my seven-year career and have excelled almost every time. I have also been the national title holder since 1997," he argued.
Athlete Bobby Aloysius, discuss thrower Anil Kumar and shot putter Bahadur Singh have already expressed their resentment over the awards committee's decision.
Olympians Sujit Mann, Sanjay Kumar, who had also staged a similar protest in 1995 and was awarded the Arjuna the following year, and Hind-Kesri Rajiv Tomar were among the over 500 people who came to support Anuj.