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Wrestlers' protest disrupted: Forced to relocate from Jantar Mantar

Source: PTI
May 29, 2023 14:12 IST
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Wrestlers will be allowed to protest at any suitable place other than Jantar Mantar: Delhi Police


IMAGE: Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia and his wife Sangeeta during their protest against Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, on Sunday. Photograph: PTI

A day after the Delhi Police cleared the sit-in site of the protesting wrestlers, the security force on Monday said they will be allowed to demonstrate at a suitable place in the city other than Jantar Mantar.

"The demonstration by the wrestlers was going on smoothly at the notified place of Jantar Mantar. On Sunday, the protestors flouted the law, ignoring our repeated requests. Hence, we cleared the site and ended the dharna," Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) tweeted in Hindi.


"If the wrestlers will apply for permission to stage their sit-in again in the future, they will be allowed to do so at any suitable notified place other than Jantar Mantar," it

Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia along with other protesters were booked for rioting and obstructing public servant in discharge of duty on Sunday after a scuffle with security personnel who tried to stop them from marching to the new Parliament building as it was being inaugurated. Soon after, the Delhi Police cleared the site of their over-month-long sit-in at Jantar Mantar and said they would not be allowed to return there.

The police said 700 people were detained across the national capital. As many as 109 protesters, including the three wrestlers, were detained at Jantar Mantar. Women detainees were released later in the evening on Sunday.

Elaborating further, Delhi Police PRO Suman Nalwa said the police force had been co-operating with the protesters but Sunday's incident forced them to take the extreme step and clear the protest site.

"The wrestlers had been protesting since the last 38 days and we were cooperating with them. We were supplying them water and even generator sets. They also had free entry and exit," she said.

The officer further said the wrestlers had sought permission for organising a march on May 17 and that they also took out a candle march on May 23 but "what they did yesterday was against law and order".

"The protesters were told that they won't be allowed for a march as the new Parliament inauguration was slated on Sunday. They still went ahead with the demonstration and broke the first barricade and moved to the second and even tried breaking it. They were then detained," Nalwa said.

She said legal action has been taken against the protesters and law will follow its course.

"Looking at their (wrestlers) past record and the way they behaved yesterday, no permission for protest at Jantar Mantar will be given. If they give a written request, we may give permission for some other venue," the PRO added.

Chaotic scenes were witnessed at the dharna site at Jantar Mantar as protesters and police personnel shoved and pushed each other when the Phogat sisters, Sakshi Malik and others tried to breach the barricades on Sunday.

Later, the police filed an FIR against the protesting wrestlers and their supporters.

The wrestlers had been protesting at Jantar Mantar since April 23 against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh demanding his arrest for alleged sexual harassment of several women grapplers, including a minor.

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