In a dramatic turn of events, Delhi Police on Thursday blocked the entry of several wrestlers who were trying to join their fellow grapplers at the protest site in Jantar Mantar. The protesters were demanding the resignation of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over allegations of corruption and nepotism in the selection process for the Tokyo Olympics.
The protest has been going on for several days now, with some of the country’s top wrestlers, including Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia, joining in to express their dissatisfaction with the WFI’s functioning. However, on Thursday, as the protesters were holding a press conference, the police refused entry to several wrestlers who were trying to join in.
Vinesh Phogat’s cousin, Geeta Phogat, a former World Championships medallist and 2010 Commonwealth Games gold winner, tweeted that she and her husband have been detained by the police. “We have been detained by Delhi Police, can’t reach the protest site at Jantar Mantar,” she wrote.
The move by the police has been widely criticized, with many people questioning the government’s handling of the situation. The wrestlers, who have been protesting peacefully, have been demanding the resignation of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for several weeks now. However, their demands have fallen on deaf ears, with the WFI chief refusing to step down.
The allegations against Singh include charges of nepotism in team selection, favoritism towards wrestlers from his home state, and mismanagement of funds. The wrestlers have accused him of ignoring the interests of the sport and promoting his own personal agenda.
The protest at Jantar Mantar has drawn support from several quarters, with many people, including politicians and celebrities, expressing their solidarity with the wrestlers. However, the government has so far remained silent on the issue, with no senior official coming forward to address the grievances of the wrestlers.
The move by the police to block the entry of the wrestlers has been seen as an attempt to stifle dissent and silence the voices of those who are demanding accountability from the WFI. The wrestlers have vowed to continue their protest until their demands are met, and have called for the support of the public in their fight against corruption in sports.