New Delhi, June 5
Even as wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, who work with the Northern Railway, have joined their duties, they insisted that they would continue their fight for justice and rubbished reports of their withdrawal from the protest as an attempt to “sabotage” the movement.
The clarification came close on the heels of their meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday. The wrestlers have been protesting against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, demanding his arrest on allegations of sexual harassment. Brij Bhushan has denied all charges.
On meet with Shah, Sakshi said it was a “normal conversation and no final solution has emerged. Our stance will remain the same, arrest the accused.” Sources said the meeting did not bear fruit as both parties stuck to their guns. The wrestlers made five demands, including appointing a woman in-charge to look into sexual assault charge, stopping Brij Bhushan's family members from taking over the federation, withdrawal of FIRs against wrestlers and WFI chief's arrest.
The sources said the wrestlers were told that all conditions would be looked into except Brij Bhushan's arrest. It is also understood that there was a second meeting planned, but the wrestlers declined and said the government should speak to their representatives. The government has now made it clear that it would talk to the representatives only if they come with a recommendation letter saying they represent all wrestlers so that in case of any understanding they do not backtrack from it.
Gyan Singh, who is part of a committee formed by the wrestlers, told The Tribune that the negotiations would bring results soon. “I spoke to the wrestlers and it is my understanding that they have been told that the arrest will not happen so they now want the chargesheet in the case be filed soon,” he said, adding backchannel talks had been taking place for the past 15 days. “MP Kartikeya Sharma came on May 27. Someone from the Haryana BJP was there too. The government wants this to end. It is just a matter of time,” he said. The wrestlers, meanwhile, hinted that they were being pressured to end their protest.
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