Protesting wrestlers to hold 'peaceful' march to new Parliament today
The agitating wrestlers confirmed on Saturday that they will go ahead with the "peaceful" march to the new Parliament building on Sunday despite "pressure" to call off the Mahila (women) Mahapanchayat. Ahead of Sunday's mahapanchayat, the wrestlers toured numerous cities in north India and urged women and khaps to support their demands to arrest Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Why does this story matter?
This march from the wrestlers comes on a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new Parliament building. Notably, the move comes after the protesting wrestlers' 15-day ultimatum for Singh's apprehension over sexual harassment allegations ended last Sunday. Seven woman wrestlers—reportedly including a minor girl—filed a police complaint on April 21 against the WFI chief, alleging intimidation and sexual harassment.
Will go ahead with Mahila Mahapanchayat, come what may: Phogat
"We will go ahead with the Mahila Mahapanchayat, come what may. Our supporters have been stopped at a gurudwara in Ambala, where they were supposed to stay tonight. It has now been converted into a cantonment," alleged star wrestler Vinesh Phogat. "Wherever we are stopped, we will sit there and have the Mahapanchayat," the Asian Games gold medalist told the media.
Video of Phogat addressing media
WFI chief's reaction to mahapanchayat near new Parliament
On the other hand, Singh on Saturday urged the agitating wrestlers not to protest near the new Parliament building on Sunday. "The country is getting a new Parliament building, and it is a matter of pride," the WFI chief stated. "I urge these wrestlers that I am ready, ready for the narco test, ready for everything," The Times of India quoted Singh as saying.
Security beefed up in Delhi ahead of Mahila Mahapanchayat
Meanwhile, security has been reportedly beefed up ahead of the wrestlers' planned march in Delhi toward the new Parliament building on Sunday. According to the news agency ANI, the Delhi Police has decided to put up barricades near the Tikri border, the Singhu border, and the ITO Road area as Khap Panchayat leaders and farmers are also set to join the agitating wrestlers' march.
Know about wrestlers' ongoing protest against WFI chief
The wrestlers resumed their agitation in April after three months of inaction and accused the central government of delaying the release of the report of the committee formed to probe the allegations. The wrestlers also highlighted how the WFI resumed operations despite the ongoing probe. Earlier, the Delhi Police filed two FIRs on April 28 against Singh after being rapped by the Supreme Court.Share this timeline