New Delhi, May 28
The dramatic detention of protesting wrestlers by Delhi Police on Sunday was condemned by several politicians and former sportspersons who termed the act as "shame on the government".
Top wrestlers, including the likes of Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, were detained for violation of law and order after they breached the security cordon while trying to move towards the new Parliament building for a planned women's 'Mahapanchayat'.
ये देश के चैम्पियंस हैं आतंकवादी नहीं ! शर्मनाक pic.twitter.com/jZ4L4Skxgz— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) May 28, 2023
"Strongly condemn the way Delhi Police manhandled Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and other wrestlers. It's shameful our champions are treated in this manner," West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted.
Strongly condemn the way Delhi Police manhandled Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and other wrestlers. It’s shameful our champions are treated in this manner. Democracy lies in tolerance but autocratic forces thrive on intolerance and quelling of dissent. I demand they be immediately…— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 28, 2023
"Democracy lies in tolerance but autocratic forces thrive on intolerance and quelling of dissent. I demand they be immediately released by police. I stand by our wrestlers." Communist Party of India (Marxist) termed the police action as "shame on this Govt."
Shame on this Govt— CPI (M) (@cpimspeak) May 28, 2023
The way international wrestlers are treated
Many more AIDWA leaders and activists arrested#WrestlersProtest#MahilaPanchayat#IStandWithChampions #arrestbrijbhushansharansingh#MahilaSammanPanchayat. pic.twitter.com/32aIEp4WZU
"Delhi Police have detailed women wrestlers! Medal winning wrestlers bundled into buses and detained for fighting sexual harassment while man accused will be sitting in new parliament building. Shame!"
खिलाड़ियों की छाती पर लगे मेडल हमारे देश की शान होते हैं। उन मेडलों से, खिलाड़ियों की मेहनत से देश का मान बढ़ता है।— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) May 28, 2023
भाजपा सरकार का अहंकार इतना बढ़ गया है कि सरकार हमारी महिला खिलाड़ियों की आवाजों को निर्ममता के साथ बूटों तले रौंद रही है।
ये एकदम गलत है। पूरा देश सरकार के… pic.twitter.com/xjreCELXRN
Chaotic scenes were witnessed at the protest site at Jantar Mantar as wrestlers and police officers shoved and pushed each other when Vinesh Phogat, her cousin sister Sangeeta Phogat and Sakshi Malik tried to breach the barricades.
Vinesh provided a strong resistance against her detention and Sangeeta clung on to her cousin sister while lying on the road as the struggle continued for a few dramatic minutes.
The police officials dragged and lifted them into buses along with several other wresters and their supporters. The wrestlers were pushed into buses and taken to different unknown locations.
The champion wrestlers had resumed their agitation against former Wresting Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on April 23, demanding his arrest for alleged sexual harassment of several women grapplers, including a minor.
The police had warned the wrestlers not to move towards Parliament but they went ahead, leading to the scuffle.
Rajasthan Congress MLA and 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games discus throw gold medallist Krishna Poonia too condemned the police action.
भारत के खेल जगत की व लोकतंत्र की सबसे शर्मनाक विडियो!— Dr. Krishna Poonia (@KrishnaPooniaIN) May 28, 2023
देश का गौरव को बढ़ाने वाले, देश के गोल्ड मेडलिस्ट पहलवान खिलाड़ियों को सड़क पर घसीट कर गिरफ्तार करना मैं कड़ी निंदा करती हूं हम हमेशा सत्य की लड़ाई में हमारी बहनों के साथ खड़े हैं। #WrestlerProtest #SakshiMalik… pic.twitter.com/eheDSyRQQZ
"The most shameful video of Indian sports and democracy. I condemn the manner in which police dragged our gold medallist wrestlers who have brought laurels for our country and in this fight for truth and justice, I stand with my sisters," she tweeted.
TMC MLA and former India cricketer Manoj Tiwary said: "So, this is what you call #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav? Shame! The nation is with you #wrestlers!"
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