In a recent joint statement, renowned Indian wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, and Vinesh Phogat expressed their dissatisfaction with the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and demanded his arrest. The wrestlers announced their intention to immerse their hard-earned medals in the holy river Ganga at 6 pm today. Additionally, they declared their resolve to stage a hunger strike until death at India Gate following the symbolic act.
The statement, delivered in Hindi, emphasized the wrestlers’ strong attachment to their medals, describing them as their lives and souls. They lamented the lack of concern shown by the Prime Minister, who had referred to them as “our daughters.” The athletes expressed disappointment that while they were protesting, the Prime Minister had invited the alleged “oppressor” Brij Bhushan to the inauguration of the new Parliament building, even posing for photographs together in pristine white attire.
— Bajrang Punia 🇮🇳 (@BajrangPunia) May 30, 2023
The protests escalated when Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sangeeta Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and several others were detained by the Delhi Police on Sunday. The authorities intercepted their attempt to move towards the new Parliament building for a ‘Mahila Mahapanchayat.’
In a video statement released on Monday, Sakshi Malik, a bronze medallist in the Rio Olympics, assured supporters that the wrestlers had not given up. She denounced the police actions against them, claiming that they had caused no harm to public property. Malik described the officers’ treatment as cruel, highlighting incidents where a single woman wrestler was allegedly handled by twenty officers.
Malik further acknowledged the support received from the sporting fraternity and condemned the police actions, which drew unequivocal condemnation from political leaders and sports personalities alike. She reassured their supporters that the protest would persist and announced that the wrestlers were strategizing their next move.