Shocked and appalled by the boorish behaviour by the Delhi Police towards protesting wrestlers late Thursday evening (May 3), an emotionally distraught Vinesh Phogat said they were not criminals and did not deserve such disrespect.
The wrestlers are sitting on a protest from April 23, demanding the arrest of WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh alleging that he has sexually harassed seven female grapplers, including one minor.
Around 11 pm, a scuffle broke out at Jantar Mantar between the protesting wrestlers when they were bringing in folding beds for their night stay and the on-duty police personnel allegedly began enquiring about that.
Also read: Scuffle between wrestlers, Delhi Police
According to the wrestlers, the police officers started behaving badly with them and even abused the women wrestlers.
“If you want to kill us, then kill us,” a crying Vinesh said during a late-night media interaction.
“Did we win medals for the country to see this day? We have not even eaten our food. Does every man have a right to abuse women? These policemen are holding guns, they can kill us,” an emotionally drained Vinesh said.
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“Where were female police officers? How can the male officers push us like that. We are not criminals. We do not deserve such treatment. The police officer who was drunk hit my brother,” the World Championship medallist said.
Bajrang Punia exhorted the farmers and the general public to reach Jantar Mantar in their support.
“I request everyone to reach Delhi by morning. This is the time. If not now, then when. This is question of dignity of our daughters. People like Brij Bhushan (WFI President) are roaming free despite being a criminal and all this is happening to us,” Bajrang said.
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Asked to give more details, Bajrang said, “CCTV cameras must be here. Foortage will make it clear.”
Asked specifically if AAP leader Somnath Bharti had brought the folding beds, as being claimed by the Delhi Police, Bajrang said, “CCTV footage can show he was not there when it happened. We had ordered the beds, we were bringing the beds inside.”
VIDEO | “The way they have made us suffer, I would not want any athlete to win a medal for the country,” says wrestler Vinesh Phogat. pic.twitter.com/EpSk6dc3ZL
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) May 3, 2023
(With agency inputs)