Tikait wrestlers protest
Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait at the khap mahapanchayat in support of protesting wrestlers in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. Image: Twitter/ANI

Wrestlers' protest: Khap mahapanchayat begins in UP's Muzaffarnagar

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A khap mahapanchayat to discuss the ongoing protest by wrestlers against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh started at Soram village in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, on Thursday, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leaders said.

The mahapanchayat was called by BKU leader Naresh Tikait on Wednesday, a day after he and other farmer leaders managed to dissuade some of India’s top wrestlers from throwing their medals in the Ganga to protest police inaction against Brij Bhushan in two cases of sexual harassment.

Tikait is the head of Balyan khap. The mahapanchayat is being attended by khap leaders from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi.

Also read | Wait for probe to end, don’t take any step to hurt sports: Minister to wrestlers

The mahapanchayat will pass a resolution at the end of the meeting. It is likely to be passed by the evening after the khap leaders from all states have expressed their views on the issue, a BKU leader said.

On Tuesday, Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, and Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat went to Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar along with their supporters to throw their medals in the Ganga. However, they relented after khap and farmer leaders sought five days’ time to address their grievances.

Two FIRs filed

The Delhi Police has filed two FIRs against Brij Bhushan. While the first FIR relates to allegations by a minor wrestler and has been registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the second is related to outraging modesty.

The WFI chief, who has repeatedly denied all charges against him, said on Wednesday that he would hang himself if a single allegation is proved against him. He is scheduled to hold a press conference later on Thursday in Gonda district to highlight the achievements of nine years of the Modi government.

With agency inputs

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