Sports Minister Anurag Thakur,
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur. Image: Twitter/ANI

Wrestlers suspend protest after 5-hour meeting with Anurag Thakur

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The protesting wrestlers on Wednesday (June 7) agreed to suspend their protest for a week after the government asked them to wait till police complete their probe into sexual harassment allegations against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh by June 15.

The wrestlers, after a nearly five-hour meeting with Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, said the government has also assured them that the police will withdraw the FIRs filed against them.

The wrestlers were booked for violation of law and order on May 28 when they marched towards the new Parliament building without permission to hold Mahila Samman Mahapachayat.

Also read: Wrestlers fear isolated mahapanchayats diluting struggle; only helping, say khaps

The meeting was attended by Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, her husband Satyawart Kadiyan and Jitender Kinha.

Double world medallist Vinesh Phogat, a prominent face of the protest against WFI chief, skipped the meet.

“We were told that police investigation will be complete by June 15. Till then, we have been asked to wait and suspend the protest,” Sakshi Malik told reporters after the meeting.

Also read: Wrestlers’ stir | Will consult everyone involved: Sakshi after Centre’s talks call

“The Delhi police will also withdraw the FIRs filed against the wrestlers lodged on May 28,” she added.

Both Malik and Punia asserted that their agitation was not yet over and they have suspended their protest only till June 15 as requested by the government.

Later addressing a press conference, Thakur said the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections be held by June 30.

Also read: Brij Bhushan Singh, strongman from UP badlands even Modi dares not upset

The crucial meeting was called by Thakur to break the deadlock.

“A very positive discussion was held with the (protesting) wrestlers. They have demanded that the investigation (on charges against WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh) be concluded and chargesheet be filed by June 15,” Thakur said after the meeting.

Also read: How delay in action against Brij Bhushan is sacring away grappler girls from Haryana’s akhadas

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