Government is trying to shield WFI chief Brij Bhushan: Vinesh Phogat
The wrestlers participating in the protests have expressed a growing belief that the arrest of WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Vinesh Phogat, a prominent wrestler, alleged on Sunday (June 11) that the government is making efforts to shield Singh, who is also a BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh.
The wrestlers had halted their stir after getting an assurance from Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on June 7 that a charge-sheet will be filed against Singh by June 15.
The wrestlers have been demanding Singh’s arrest since they resumed their agitation against Singh on April 23 at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.
The government has accepted several of wrestlers demands, including that none of Singhs family members or associates will be allowed to contest the impending WFI polls.
However, the wrestlers, led by Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia and Phogat, have said they will not end their protest unless Singh is put behind bars.
Phogat, the double world medallist, on Sunday joined the protesting farmers in Punjab and on her way spoke to media at Khatkar Toll Plaza in Haryana.
Asked about the meeting the wrestlers had with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Phogat said, “They had given a few proposals that they can do that much for us but except the arrest of Brij Bhushan, everything is happening.”
On being asked why Singh is not being arrested, the firebrand wrestler shot back.
“You have to ask Amit Shah, why he (WFI chief) is not being arrested. He is such a powerful man that the government is trying to shield him. So, getting him arrested is not easy but we are continuing our fight.”
Almost half-the-year has passed but the wresters protest is continuing.
Phogat said she can’t tell when will their protest end.
“I can’t tell you how long our protest will linger, the day he is arrested we will also end our protest. But if justice comes late, what’s the point.”
“Our fight may end one day but the senior citizens of the country are still fighting. We are with them, so a few fights won’t end on this Earth. People are being martyred, people are in grief, unemployment is hitting the youth, the government must think about all these issues.
“It (Government) must listen, if so, many people have come forward to raise their voice. The government should not ignore them.”
When asked if she thinks, monarchy, instead of democracy is being followed in the country, “There is no doubt that,” she replied.
Later when she reached Patiala and joined farmers protest against Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).
The farmers, belonging to Samyukta Kisan Morcha (non-political), have been protesting against delay in giving new connections to the farmers, delay in the release of pending tubewell connections and installation of smart meters.
Speaking there, Vinesh said, “Is it necessary that people will have to sit on streets for everything. It is not good for the country. They have been sitting here, leaving behind their families. The governments are made to serve people not to make them sad.”
With various farmers union coming in support of wrestlers, Bajrang returned the favour with a tweet in their support.
“Farmers are asking for MSP i.e. minimum support price of their crops. The farmers who feed the entire country work hard in the fields throughout the year. Shouldn’t they get the right price for their hard work and crop? We wrestler are with farmers in this struggle. We come from these families,” Bajrang tweeted.
(With agency inputs)