India: Olympic winners threaten to throw medals in Ganga river amid ongoing wrestlers' protests

The country's star wrestlers like Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat also threatened to go on a hunger strike at India Gate


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Published: Tue 30 May 2023, 3:13 PM

The ongoing wrestlers' protest in the national capital has taken a new toll, as India's star grapplers Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat have declared they will throw their medals in River Ganga in Haridwar on Tuesday evening.

The wrestlers took to Twitter and shared a post about the chain of events that have unfolded in recent days and the way authorities handled the situation.

The protesting wrestlers said that they will visit Haridwar and throw their medals in the Ganga at 6pm on Tuesday. They added that they would go on a hunger strike at India Gate after throwing their medals.

In their post, the wrestlers said: "You saw everything that happened on May 28, how police treated us and the way they arrested us. We were protesting peacefully; our place has been taken away, and the next day serious cases and FIRs were filed against us.

Have the wrestlers committed [a] crime by demanding justice for the sexual harassment that happened to them? The police and the system are treating us like criminals, while the oppressor is... moving freely. He is even openly talking about changing the POSCO Act."

Several ace grapplers including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik have been protesting against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accusing him of sexual harassment and demanding his arrest.

They also went on to question the fact that female wrestlers had to hide for the entire day. "Yesterday, many of our women wrestlers were hiding in the fields. The system should arrest the oppressor, but it is engaged [with] breaking and intimidating the victims to end their protest," the grapplers said.

They further said that these medals are left with no meaning.

"It is not less than death for us thinking of returning medals, but how can we live compromising our self-respect? We don't need these medals anymore. If we speak against exploitation, they prepare to put us in jail," the wrestlers said.


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