'Take it (medals) all away. We have been humiliated so much. We are fighting for our respect but we are being crushing under their feet. Do all men have the right to abuse women?'
'The Police is favouring Brij Bhushan. We are being abused after the FIR was lodged. Wrestlers are being divided on the basis of caste.'
Hurt by the boorish behaviour of the Delhi Police, protesting wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia on Thursday offered to return their medals and awards to the government, saying these honours are of no use if they are being subjected to such humiliation.
The wrestlers have been sitting on a protest in the national capital since April 23, demanding the arrest of WFI chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for alleged sexual harassment of seven wrestlers, including a minor.
Around 11 pm on Wednesday, a scuffle broke out at Jantar Mantar between the protesting wrestlers, who were bringing in folding beds for their night stay, and the on-duty police personnel who allegedly began enquiring about the same.
"If this is how the wrestlers will be treated, what will we do with the medals? Rather we will live a normal life and return all the medals and awards to the Indian Government," Bajrang, an Olympic bronze medallist, told reporters on Thursday morning.
"When police is pushing us, abusing us, misbehaving then they don't see that we are Padma Shri awardees, and not only me, there is Sakshi (Malik) also," he said referring to the Rio Olympics bronze medallist.
"They are misbehaving with us. Women and daughters are sitting on the streets, begging for kindness but no one is bothered about getting justice."
There was heavy security at the Jantar Mantar site following Wednesday night's ruckus, leading to injuries to two protesters.
"Take it (medals) all away. We have been humiliated so much. We are fighting for our respect but we are being crushing under their feet. Do all men have the right to abuse women?," said Vinesh, who is Khel Ratna awardee.
"We will return all our medals, even give our life but at least get us justice."
The scuffle broke out when the protesters were trying to get extra mattresses and wooden benches to the protest site for their night stay since rain had left old mattresses wet and soggy.
"The policeman started pushing me, shoving me and pulling my hand. He also abused me. There was no women constable at that time. He was aggressive. There was another policeman who was drunk," Vinesh said.
Delhi Police has claimed that AAP leader Somnath Bharti had brought the folding beds.
"We had ordered for the beds and not Somnath Bharati. And even if he had brought it, don't we even have the right to sleep. Were we committing a crime by bringing beds, was there a bomb or weapons? Their (Delhi Police) behaviour was very aggressive," Vinesh added.
Bajrang said, "I want to know why everything is being related to politics, sometimes Aam Aadmi party, Congress, sometimes BJP. The matter is related to women, but the nation is being misled by associating it with political parties."
"The Police is favouring Brij Bhushan. We are being abused after the FIR was lodged. Wrestlers are being divided on the basis of caste."
"I just want to request the govenment if you can rise above politics and give justice to protesting wrestlers then the entire country will be grateful to you."
Asked if the protest has been hijacked by political parties, Vinesh said, "Listen, if this is political, please get the Prime Minister to talk to us. Ask the home minister to call us. Get us justice. We are putting our careers and our lives at stake," she said with folded hands.
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Swati Maliwal was also sitting with the protesting wrestlers.