Protesting Wrestlers Shift Strategy, Emphasize Legal Action in Battle Against WFI Chief
Protesting Wrestlers Opt for Legal Battle Against WFI Chief, Abandon Street Protests
In a shift of strategy, prominent wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia have decided to pursue their fight against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh through legal means instead of returning to the streets. The wrestlers, who had previously threatened to resume their street agitation, took to Twitter to announce their decision and expressed satisfaction with the government’s fulfillment of its promise to file a chargesheet against Singh.
In their identical tweets, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik, and Bajrang Punia highlighted their commitment to pursuing justice but clarified that it would be through the legal system rather than on the roads. They also mentioned the ongoing electoral reform in WFI, stating that they would wait for the government to fulfill its promises regarding the upcoming July 11 elections.
Shortly after posting the statement, Vinesh and Sakshi announced that they would be taking a break from social media for a few days. This comes after the wrestlers vehemently criticized former wrestler and BJP leader Yogeshwar Dutt for questioning the IOA ad-hoc panel’s decision to grant them exemption from Asian Games trials during a live address on social media.
During their address, Vinesh, Sakshi, and Bajrang emphasized that their fight against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh would continue. They expressed their intention to evaluate the chargesheet filed against Singh and determine the next course of action accordingly, whether it be on or off the mat. Vinesh underscored that the fight would persist until Singh faced consequences for his actions, while Sakshi accused Yogeshwar Dutt of targeting them due to his self-interest and alleged that Dutt may have been offered the position of WFI President by Singh.
The protesting wrestlers had previously suspended their protest at Jantar Mantar on May 28, following assurances from Sports Minister Anurag Thakur. Thakur had pledged that a chargesheet would be filed against Singh by June 15 and that none of his family members would be allowed to contest WFI elections. The wrestlers had received widespread support from farmer leaders, khap panchayats, and various organizations during their 38-day sit-in at Jantar Mantar, which ended in their detainment by the Delhi Police for violating law and order.
Their protest at Jantar Mantar began on January 18 and was temporarily suspended after Thakur’s promise to investigate their allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who holds a six-time BJP MP position.
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