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Rediff.com  » Sports » 'Did we win medals for the country to see this day?'

'Did we win medals for the country to see this day?'

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 04, 2023 10:44 IST
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Sangita Phogat was in tears while talking to the media after a scuffle broke out between wrestlers and the police at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi on Wednesday night.

IMAGE: Indian wrestler Sangita Phogat was in tears while talking to the media after a scuffle broke out between wrestlers and the police at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi on Wednesday night. Photograph: PTI

Shocked and appalled by the boorish behaviour by the Delhi Police towards protesting wrestlers late Thursday evening, an emotionally distraught Vinesh Phogat said they were not criminals and did not deserve such disrespect.

The wrestlers have been on a sit-in protest since April 23, demanding arrest of WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh alleging that he has sexually harassed seven female grapplers, including one minor.

 

At around 11 pm, a scuffle broke out at Jantar Mantar between the protesting wrestlers when they were bringing in folding beds for their night stay and the on-duty police personnel allegedly began enquiring about that.

 Wrestlers speak with the media after a scuffle broke out between police and the protesting wrestlers on Wednesday

IMAGE: Wrestlers speak with the media after a scuffle broke out between police and the protesting wrestlers on Wednesday. Photograph: Kamal Singh/PTI

According to the wrestlers, the police officers started behaving badly with them and even abused the women wrestlers.

"If you want to kill us, then kill us," a crying Vinesh said during a late night media interaction.

"Did we win medals for the country to see this day? We have not even eaten our food. Does every man have a right to abuse women? These police men are holding guns, they can kill us," an emotionally drained Vinesh said.

"Where were female police officers? How can the male officers push us like that. We are not criminals. We do not deserve such treatment. The police officer who was drunk hit my brother," the World Championship medallist said.

 An injured wrestler is stretchered out after a scuffle between the police and the protesting wrestlers at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday

IMAGE: An injured wrestler is stretchered out after a scuffle between the police and the protesting wrestlers at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday. Photograph: Kamal Singh/PTI

Bajrang Punia exhorted the farmers and the general public to reach Jantar Mantar in their support.

"I request everyone to reach Delhi by morning. This is the time. If not now, then when. This is question of dignity of our daughters. People like Brij Bhushan (WFI President) are roaming free despite being a criminal and all this is happening to us," Bajrang said.

Wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Sangita Phogat talk to the media after the scuffle on Wednesday

IMAGE: Wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Sangita Phogat talk to the media after the scuffle on Wednesday. Photograph: PTI

Asked to give more details, Bajrang said, "CCTV cameras must be here. Foortage will make it clear."

Asked specifically if AAP leader Somnath Bharti had brought the folding beds, as being claimed by the Delhi Police, Bajrang said, "CCTV footage can show he was not there when it happened. We had ordered the beds, we were bringing the beds inside."

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