Monday, October 2, 2023
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Monday, October 2, 2023
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Wrestlers Defer Decision To Immerse Medals At Haridwar, Likely To Return To Delhi

The top protesting wrestlers led by World Championship medalist Vinesh Phogat and Olympic medalists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia on Tuesday announced that they would “immerse” their medals in Ganga river amid their ongoing demand of Brij Bhushan’s arrest.

The wrestlers who reached to Hari Ki Pauri in Haridwar later decided to delay their decision to “immerse” the medals after Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Naresh Tikait asked them to do so.

Tikait arrived at the location to persuade wrestlers to delay their decision after over an hour wait by the top wrestlers. Soon after a discussion between them, wrestlers and the farm leader came back to the parked vehicles.

The wrestlers said that there were multiple reasons to change the decision that included pressure from their families and call from a BJP leader who asked some time.

“We were assured that our demands would be met, so we stepped back. However, in case the government goes back on its word, we will return to the Ganga again,” said an unnamed wrestler.

“We have sought five days’ time and told the wrestlers to wait. After that, we will have a mahapanchayat and take the next course of action,” said Naresh Tikait.

According to the sources, a Union Minister from western Uttar Pradesh also reached Haridwar to persuade the wrestlers not to “immerse” their medals.

Speaking to media, Tikait said that the reason why he went to wrestlers was to make sure that nothing happens in anger. “Bacche gusse me wahan chale gaye the… Humne unhe manaya ki aap aisa mat karo…(They got angry and went there… we convinced them not to do this),” said the BKU leader.

When he was asked whether he had a word with the government to defer the wrestlers’ actions, he said said “No”, he even said that there might be a discussion if he would be accompanying the wrestlers on their way back to Delhi.

The top wrestlers began their protest at Jantar Mantar on April 23 demanding stringent action against WFI Chief Brij Bhushan, who they accused of sexual harassment.

On Sunday, Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik were among the 700 who were detained by the police when they tried to cross police barricades and march towards the new Parliament.

There was a scheduled women’s mahapanchayat outside the new Parliament building on Sunday. The wrestlers were however, released on the same day.

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